A Woman of Integrity by J David Simons : A Review

Release date : 16th March, 2017

What price are you willing to pay to live your dreams? Are you ready to compromise your values to fulfill your desires?

A Woman of Integrity, the fifth novel by author J David Simons, explores these themes through the lives of two women living at different times, yet facing similar challenges to achieve their goals. A well thought out plot, extremely strong female characters, fast paced writing with great control and the right dosage of emotions sprinkled across the pages makes this book a very good read. The setting of the novel in the backdrop of movie industry with the mention of evergreen names of Hollywood also provides the readers with a unique thrill.

The novel narrates the story of Laura Scott, an actor who finds out the hard way what it means to be on the wrong side of fifty. Fired by her agent and on the verge of a financial disaster she gets involved in a dream project, a one woman drama, which details the life of Georgie Hepburn, a silent film actress turned pilot turned photographer. Laura is challenged in ways unimaginable throughout all the phases of this project. Yet she finds strength and endurance within by emulating Georgie, a woman of exceptional courage and integrity. With her entire career, finances and reputation at stake on this play, will Laura’s search of authenticity through Georgie bring her unprecedented success or irrecoverable doom? 

My impression of this being a regular Hollywood drama flick with backstabbing friends and cheating boyfriends was rectified in the very first chapter itself through a phone call between Laura and Edy. My assumption that Edy was Laura’s boyfriend calling to dump her was amended when it was revealed that Edy was Laura’s agent. So much for my prejudice! The rest of the book also continued to surprise me at every juncture. The portrayal of Georgie as an ambitious and honest woman, who under strenuous circumstances also refused to compromise, thus sacrificing her dreams for saving her integrity was exceptional. Her character is a welcome change from the stereotypical portrayal of women as bimbos ready to sacrifice anything for a movie role. Kudos to the author in creating such a fresh character! Georgie, recovering from her failed dream to become an actress, turning out to be a pioneering pilot during the second world war was truly inspirational.

The character of Laura was no less powerful. Drawn into the quagmire of movies and its complexities, Georgie’s life story was her wake up call. She found the courage to reinvent herself even under great personal duress. Even when faced with impending financial doom she chose to believe in herself. Similar to Georgie and Laura, the story was peppered with exceptional women. The one who particularly stood out for me was Ginny, Georgie’s aunt. A modern and independent woman way ahead of her times, she supported Georgie’s acting dreams and motivated her at her lowest points.

Overall, this book is a great entertainer which distracts and soothes us with the story of these two exceptional women. The writing style is simple and enjoyable. By portraying a wide array of inspirational characters, the author motivates us to undertake our dreams and pursue it with integrity and single-mindedness. A great woman oriented novel for all the ladies out there! Grab a copy and start reading soon.

Favourite Character : Aunt Ginny

Favourite Quote : 

“But what I discovered was that having been stripped naked by my despair, I actually possessed the strength and will to rebuild myself. It was a resilience, an emotional and mental toughness, an inner strength that I felt had been instilled into me by my father”

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