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Mirror, Mirror Reviews

Mirror, Mirror by Paula Byrne

Mirror, Mirror

Paula Byrne

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: William Collins
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 23 Jan 2020
ISBN: 9780008307097

She was the most beautiful woman in the world.  Evocative and deeply moving, Mirror, Mirror is based on Marlene Dietrich's glittering life, a dramatic novel set in Hollywood's golden age, that tells the story of mothers and daughters and of time's war against beauty - and the unbearable pain of a woman when beauty is the only game in town.

4 stars out of 5
Stephanie Cross
16 Jan 2020

"Dietrich’s life provides no shortage of rollercoaster drama"

Dietrich’s life provides no shortage of rollercoaster drama: refusing to be wooed by the Nazis, she spent WWII entertaining allied troops, all the while notching up famous lovers. But Madou’s towering narcissism leaves Kater deeply damaged, and the pair’s toxic entanglement sometimes makes this a gruelling — although compelling — read.


4 stars out of 5
Melissa Katsoulis
10 Jan 2020

"A fictional life of a screen siren is thought-provoking as well as hugely entertaining,"

The intersection between saucy Hollywood memoirs and novels narrated by inanimate objects has thus far been slim. But when Paula Byrne — the author of many lively books about fascinating women, from “Kick” Kennedy to Dido Belle, a black girl in 18th-century England, and Jane Austen — decided to fictionalise the wild life of Marlene Dietrich, no ordinary form would do, so half of her novel is narrated by a mirror...

Byrne sprinkles just enough glitter on her feminist analysis of Hollywood, making Mirror, Mirror both eye-poppingly fun and thought-provoking.