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New novel imagines Marilyn Monroe as KGB spy

Anna Godbersen's new novel, "The Blonde" (2014), departs sharply from what we know and believe about Marilyn Monroe to depict the iconic film star as a spy recruited by the KGB to seduce John F. Kennedy. Radically re-imagining Monroe through her thoughts and covert operations, this novel from the New York Times bestselling author of "The Luxe" and "Bright Young Things" will certainly pique the interest of classic movie fans, but readers should be warned that Godbersen's world bears little resemblance to the classic Hollywood that many devoted fans cherish.

Anna Godbersen's new novel, "The Blonde," offers a fictional revision of the life of Marilyn Monroe.
Book cover from Weinstein Books

The narrative weaves together a series of events beginning around 1959, when Marilyn Monroe is unhappily married to Arthur Miller and living in New York. She is contacted by Alexei, a mysterious figure from her past, who tells her that the time has come for her to repay his secret organization's help in making her a star. She is instructed to meet and seduce rising politician John F. Kennedy, an easy enough task given his womanizing habits, but their affair becomes far more complicated, even as JFK ascends to the nation's highest office. Meanwhile, a young FBI agent named Walls is trailing Monroe, trying to figure out who exactly she is working for and what her ultimate mission might be.

Released on May 13, 2014, "The Blonde" is currently available in hardback, Kindle edition, and Audible Audio version from Amazon and other book retailers. The novel is Anna Godbersen's first work for adult readers after two successful series of YA novels.

One of the secret aspects of Monroe's life that Godbersen touches on in the novel is the plastic surgery done to enhance her appeal. You can learn more about that surgery by watching the video at the top of this article. For different takes on the life and death of Marilyn Monroe, try books like "Marilyn: Her Life in Her Own Words" by George Barris, "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe" by J. Randy Taraborrelli, and the autobiography, "My Story."