Frank & Ava: In Love and War
By John Brady
Thomas Dunne Books, 2015. 304 pgs. Nonfiction
Teenaged southerner Ava Gardner dreamed of becoming a real-life Hollywood actress. She moved to Hollywood at age 18, and a few years and two short-lived marriages later, Ava met Frank Sinatra. Together, they embarked on a life-long torrid affair replete with passion, anger, love, drunkenness, jealousy, and one attempt at marriage. Though their relationship was volatile and often painful, they cared for each other until the end.
This book read like a salacious whirlwind through classic Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s. I was astonished at how many famous people were deeply involved (sometimes for better but usually for worse) in the lives of Gardner and Sinatra. This book is sensational reading for anyone with an interest in classic Hollywood, celebrity gossip, or watching a decades-long train wreck unfold before your very eyes. You can’t look away!