Enter the Heart
by Ben Romen
Trafford Publishing

"It is wonderful what a warm woman can teach a man about a side of himself that he never realized existed before."

Phil Romen's Enter the Heart is a retelling of the love triangle between Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy all told through the eyes of a periphery character, one who knew all the major players in the unfolding of this American saga.

The chapters are arranged as stories in a Chinese Box format, where as one story unlocks another and altogether comprise the novel. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific character, their personal drama, and their key roles in the larger mysteries. Containing pseudonyms instead of their true identities and entirely set in the third person, the novel is told in the point of view of Jim, a regular guy who is on leave in Milan, a well-deserved break from his grueling oil rig job in the North Sea, where he meets Annie, a fellow Brooklynite. They begin to get acquainted and as their romance develops Annie reveals her past and the novel unfolds. Slowly her disparate stories come together, unlocking Annie’s hidden past, and revealing much more than Jim ever expected.

Romen's gives his narrator a voice that is reminiscent of a hybrid between Ernest Hemingway and Henry Miller. His words are simple, gritty and harsh at times, but the overall tone of the story is deep and heartfelt. Set with one of the greatest twentieth century American mysteries as its backdrop, Enter the Heart hits all the major points on the conspiracy grid–the mysterious death of a Hollywood starlet, the botched invasion of a communist Caribbean island nation, and the assassination of a US president–but at its core is a story that blossoms between these major historical events. The true lifeblood of this book is a tale of two people meeting and falling in love despite their fragmented pasts.

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