Untold StoryBook - 2011
From the author of In the Kitchen comes a riveting novel that was inspired by the life of Princess Diana.
Imagines what the fate of Princess Diana might have been had she not died in Paris in 1997, in a story about the cost of fame and the possibility of reinventing a life.
Simon and Schuster
When Princess Diana died in Paris’s Alma tunnel, she was thirty-seven years old. Had she lived, she would turn fifty on July 1, 2011. Who would the beloved icon be if she were alive today? What would she be doing? And where? One of the most versatile and bold writers of our time, Monica Ali has imagined a different fate for Diana in her spectacular new novel, Untold Story.
Diana’s life and marriage were both fairy tale and nightmare rolled into one. Adored by millions, she suffered rejection, heartbreak, and betrayal. Surrounded by glamour and glitz and the constant attention of the press, she fought to carve a meaningful role for herself in helping the needy and dispossessed. The contradictions and pressures of her situation fueled her increasingly reckless behavior, but her stature and her connection with her public never ceased to grow. If Diana had lived, would she ever have found peace and happiness, or would the curse of fame always have been too great?
Fast forward a decade after the (averted) Paris tragedy, and an Englishwoman named Lydia is living in a small, nondescript town somewhere in the American Midwest. She has a circle of friends: one owns a dress shop; one is a Realtor; another is a frenzied stay-at-home mom. Lydia volunteers at an animal shelter, and swims a lot. Her lover, who adores her, feels she won’t let him know her. Who is she?
Untold Story is about the cost of celebrity, the meaning of identity, and the possibility—or impossibility—of reinventing a life. Ali’s fictional princess is beautiful, intrepid, and resourceful and has established a fragile peace. And then the past threatens to destroy her new life. Ali has created a riveting novel inspired by the cultural icon she calls “a gorgeous bundle of trouble.”
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As impossible to resist as a copy of People magazine while languishing in a long line at the supermarket, Untold Story takes tabloid fodder and turns it into an intriguing, poignant "what if"?
Ali's premise: Princess Diana didn't really die in 1997. She "disappeared" --
fleeing her life with the help of her faithful private secretary, changing her name, having a little cosmetic surgery,, and taking up residence somewhere in corn country USA. But a paparazzo is writing a 10th anniversary book and catches a glimpse of her, the woman he studied through his telephoto lens for 16 solid years, and he thinks he's on to something big...
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