Untold Story

Monica Ali. Scribner, $25 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4516-3548-5
Ali (Brick Lane) tackles a juicy premise: what if Diana hadn't died. Far from a salacious romp, though, this is a (sometimes too) slow character study of a woman in extraordinary circumstances. Here, Diana—err, Lydia—has escaped her life as an ex-princess for a new one in the states. All the real details of her previous life—carefully researched and extrapolated from—are there, with one exception; having survived the car accident, she later fakes her death (by drowning) and finds her way, via Brazil, to America. She ends up, on a darkly humorous whim, in an anonymous everytown called Kensington, where she builds a quiet life with her dog, Rufus, a job at an animal shelter, and a tight group of friends. When a British paparazzo stumbles into her town, though, her new life is threatened. This tense development is almost a subplot, overtaken as it is by Lydia's emotional exploration—how she was nearing the edge before her "death," how unbearable but necessary it was for her to leave her sons, how she has matured and recovered over the years. The result is a very human rendering of a mythical woman who survives a tumultuous youth to find an aggressively calm middle age. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-4516-3550-8
Paperback - 978-0-552-77490-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4618-3221-8
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-4711-0008-6
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4516-3551-5
Hardcover - 345 pages - 978-0-385-61459-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4423-4544-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 391 pages - 978-1-4516-5457-8
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4711-0009-3
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4090-3166-6
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-1-4458-7178-3
Paperback - 978-1-4458-7179-0
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