Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"the memoir of johnny devine" by camille eide

Usually, I'm reluctant to put out good money to try a new-to-me author. However, when I saw a review of The Memoir of Johnny Devine on Sarah Sundin's blog, I decided the book was worth taking a chance on. I'm very glad I did!

Love can’t rewrite the pages of your past, but it can cover a multitude of sins—one page at a time.

In 1953, desperation forces war widow, Eliza Saunderson, to take a job writing the memoir of ex-Hollywood heartthrob, Johnny Devine. Rumor has it Johnny can seduce anything in a skirt quicker than he can hail a cab. But now, the notorious womanizer claims he’s born again. And so he seems to be. Eliza soon finds herself falling for the humble, grace-filled man John has become—a man who shows no sign of returning her feelings.

No sign, that is, until she discovers something John never meant for her to see.

When Eliza’s articles on minority oppression land her on McCarthy’s communist hit list, both John and Eliza become entangled in a HUAC investigation that threatens both John’s book and Eliza’s future. To clear her name, Eliza must solve a family mystery. She also needs to convince John that real love—not the Hollywood illusion—can cover a multitude of sins. But just when the hope of love becomes reality, a troubling discovery confirms Eliza’s worst fears. Like the happy façade many Americans cling to, had it all been empty lies? Is there a love she can truly believe in?

The Memoir of Johnny Devine is a dramatic story-within-a-story of a bad boy reformed and a good girl in need of reform. It’s a powerful tale of love, redemption, intrigue, and the miracle of deliberate grace.

The Memoir of Johnny Devine turned out to be not at all what I was expecting—and I mean that in the best way. I thought I'd be reading a Golden Age of Hollywood romance, and while there is some romance present, this novel is about so much more.

John's story—from being a high school dropout running from his past to becoming one of Hollywood's leading men to finding the Lord and changing his priorities—is simply fascinating. It also feels so real. In fact, I finished the novel wishing I could pick up John's memoir just to get the rest of the story.

Besides the slow unfolding of John's story, the novel also contains intrigue, as it takes place at the height of McCarthyism, and both Eliza and John find themselves the target of investigation—John because of his Hollywood connections, and Eliza because of her parentage. Eliza's quest to clear her name was especially fascinating.

Completely captivating and wholly engaging, The Memoir of Johnny Devine shows the power of Christ to change someone's life, whether that person has lived a life of debauchery or a life of striving to be good; no one is out of the reach of Christ. 4-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.

Camille Eide writes inspirational romantic & women's fiction. She lives in Oregon with her husband and is a mom and grammy. She's grateful for the amazing grace of God, and either in spite of or thanks to that grace, she has a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way. She's also a church office admin, a bassist, and a fan of oldies rock, muscle cars, and tender romance. Visit her website at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased this novel myself and chose to review it. The opinions expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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