Publisher: Zoland Books / Steerforth Press
From the Cover: Coming of age in 1940s and 1950s America, Ramona Smollens takes her cues about female sexuality from Hollywood movie stars. None is more voluptuous than Rita Hayworth, the redhead who knows how to please a man and becomes a volcano of passion at her lover's touch, whose image inspired American flyers on their missions in World War II and even graced the first atomic bomb tested at the Bikini atoll. Ramona marries young and escapes her mother's house shortly after the death of her father. She takes with her a dark family secret, the sort of secret one simply did not talk about and that would stalk her as she matured into her role as wife and mother, remained a devoted daughter to her aging mother, and secretly harbored an obsession with the iconic Hayworth.
The fictional story Wagman tells of one woman's struggle with the conventions of her day is a bold literary achievement. Underpinning it all is the sad, unspoken truth of the real-life, flesh-and-blood Hayworth, the woman whose father sexually abused her. "Men go to bed with Gilda," She used to say, "but wake up with me." During Hayworth's lifetime, the public had no understanding of the depth of mean, and pain, behind Hayworth's seemingly self-effacing words. To Ramona, and millions of women like her, Hayworth's on-screen persona seemed the ideal, but was in fact "the lie." With this novel, Wagman realizes Kafkas famous dictum that "a book must be the axe that breaks the frozen sea within us."
Ramona Smollens is sad, misunderstood young woman who just wants someone to love and to be loved back. She see her life through the eyes of the fascination with her idol, Rita Hayworth. Her father who was abusive and detached from his family has dropped dead and her mother is a worn out woman who gets her jollies by making Ramona feel bad; about herself, about her choice in a man, and about life in general. Ramona is a young woman who was used to the abuse of an uncaring and unfeeling family.
The man she chooses to marry, is the man her mother disparages over and over again. Ramona's true fascination with her future husband, started with his hands and his fingers, as well as with her fascination with sex. Not that she enjoys sex, but she feels there is a need for sex. But she figures, that's okay. After all, the sex bomb goddess herself, Rita Hayworth, was married five times. As Ramona goes through life with her unsuccessful marriage and her quest for satisfaction that is never fulfilled, she continues to compare herself to Rita Hayworth.
The Lie by Fredrica Wagman is a story that follows lead character, Ramona, through her life. She has based her life on what she assumes it must have been like to be Rita Hayworth. It is a tale of an unfulfilled life with no idea how to achieve what is important all related to her need to escape the abuse that she has lived through. Ramona's constant comparison to Rita Hayworth to the point of sometimes using Rita as her name is almost scary. Her detachment from reality and her inability to seek happiness, takes the reader on a journey that is not for the faint of heart, but a worthy one. The Lie will be revealed by the end of the tale for those willingly to complete the journey. If you'd like more information about Fredrica Wagman or her books, please visit her website at http://www.fredricawagman.com/ .