I recently found out about the existence of this book from reading a recent issue of Vintage Life, and I immediately looked it up on Amazon. It is titled slightly different in the U.K. as “Private and Undisclosed”, while the title is different for the States. I saw all positive reviews, and I bought it thinking that maybe it might possibly come close to my favourite biography of Marilyn entitled “The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe” by J. Randy Taraborelli.
Coming in at 346 pages, it took me less than a week to finish it. This book offers details into Marilyn’s life from all sorts of people, even random acquaintances, that have never been public before for the most part. This is one of the things I enjoyed the most about this book in that you got to see the personal side of Marilyn from others who knew her and met her, and not just the same old facts and stories that are always rehashed in other books. Morgan also does her best to leave her personal spin and opinions out of it, which I appreciate because I would rather use my own brain for that, thank you very much!
The detail that Morgan goes into is really quite a feat and rather impressive. She even manages to dig up an old invoice for what was stated as an “x-ray of the nasal passages” from her gynecologist, and talks to the doctor’s daughter who indeed confirms that the x-ray had nothing to do with her nasal passages, and more likely was a procedure she had done just like many others for her endometriosis and to aid in her long standing desire to have children.
There are also several never before seen photographs included, which is very tare for me to say in that I have seen just about all of them. A few of the photos I did see before, but about half I didn’t, and it was a real treat to get to see them. When you view them over the course of reading the book, you look at her and think about all that she was going through at that particular time. Marilyn had one hell of a life, with tons of ups and tons of downs, and sadly one last down in which she would never recover from. But she always lives on in her films and in her legacy, and will remain the number one film legend of all time. This book does a superb job of helping you get to know who the real Marilyn was – or, more appropriately, who Norma Jean was.