Written by Janet Leigh

1995 ** 507 pages

House of Destiny is a very problematic novel, the first by famed Hollywood actress Janet Leigh. I was excited to read a novel written by Janet Leigh, especially since it was about a family dynasty in classic Hollywood. Janet Leigh, unfortunately, doesn't have a flair for prose. Everything in this book happens very, very quickly; Leigh doesn't waste time on descriptions. There are a lot of characters to keep up with, and in the end it all really doesn't feel worth it. Sure, it had its enjoyable moments. The main two characters of Jude and Wade are great guys that you do don't want anything bad to happen to. Ultimately, the main problem with the book is that, after 500 pages, you realize Leigh pulled a bait and switch trick on you. The prologue is written in such a way that it seems like Jude is being lead down death row, about to be executed. So, the whole time you read the book, you're waiting for him to do something terrible; after all, many, many bad things befall our main character. However, the epilogue ends up being something totally different, and it really leaves a bad taste in your mouth. I don't regret reading this book; I did enjoy it to a point. I just don't recommend it to anyone else.