Review: The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine by Alex Brunkhorst

Unsophisticated journalist Thomas gets nudged into the world of Hollywood by a well-meaning acquaintance. When Thomas catches a glance at the sheltered, Bel-Air-raised Matilda, he’s compelled to get to know her… and then to take things further. He doesn’t realize that two different worlds colliding can cause something more dangerous than just a spark.  

This novel is definitely quirky! From Thomas’ newsroom friends to his social awkwardness at Hollywood parties, from Matilda’s refined upbringing to her life full of secrets,  from film producers’ power to the corrupt indebtedness in the industry, The Gilded Life offers the reader a panorama of the lifestyles of wealthy LA elite. 

The quieter yet more powerful backbone of The Gilded Life is an illustration of how our environment shapes us. We see how being overprotective only protects someone as long as we control their environment. The moment they step into real life, our overprotectiveness proves to be the real danger — they have no instincts, no judgement skills, no confidence of their own.  Thomas doesn’t get it until it’s too late. And Matilda doesn’t get it until reality has changed her irreversibly. 

This was a fun, unique read that was part literary fiction, part adventure, and part romance. Four solid stars!