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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
What Happened to Marilyn is a futuristic adventure by Alexander Rigby. As the title suggests, it centres on a fantastic new imagining of the fate of Marilyn Monroe in which the glamour icon evades her death as we know it, travelling to the distant future through the efforts of Jeremiah Gold. A rich and morally questionable genius, Jeremiah has set his mind to righting a wrong from a hundred years ago, and bringing Marilyn to his side in the future where he thinks she belongs. While the new world is fascinating at first for the starlet, cracks begin to show in Marilyn’s façade, and the darkness and ennui that plagued her in 1962 seem to have made the hundred-year jump too.
One might be forgiven for thinking that What Happened to Marilyn is some sort of fantasy fulfilment novel, but it was so much more than that right from the off. Jeremiah’s emotional connection to Marilyn through the death of his mother makes her a very fitting companion for him in the future. I particularly enjoyed the way that Alexander Rigby crafts Marilyn into a wizened woman, who looks back on the experiences we all know lie in her past, and seeks new lessons from them to teach Jeremiah in his future life. Jeremiah learns valuable lessons about life and love at her side and, though the novel is far more of a romantic drama than a science fiction tale, I found it to be a light-hearted and highly enjoyable time travel adventure with a conclusion that really warms your heart.