Cover image for Monica's story
Monica's story
Morton, Andrew, 1953-
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
288 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library E886.2 .M673 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Central Library E886.2 .M673 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Clearfield Library E886.2 .M673 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
Grand Island Library E886.2 .M673 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Lackawanna Library E886.2 .M673 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
Orchard Park Library E886.2 .M673 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Riverside Branch Library E886.2 .M673 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
Williamsville Library E886.2 .M673 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

On Order



Recounts how an improper relationship and broken confidences led to threats of jail, public humiliation, and prejudgement in the media.

Author Notes

Andrew Morton studied history at the University of Sussex, England with a focus on aristocracy and the 1930s. He is the author of numerous biographies featuring the British Royal Family as well as celebrities including Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, and Madonna. His books include Diana: Her True Story, Duchess: An Intimate Portrait of Sarah, Duchess of York, and 17 Carnations: The Royals, the Nazis and the Biggest Cover-Up in History.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Like . . . whatever. (Reviewed March 15, 1999)0312240910Bonnie Smothers



CHAPTER ONE "My Little Farfel" O N A HOT SUMMER'S DAY--July 23--in 1973, after an interminable labor in the same San Francisco children's hospital where she herself had been born, Marcia Lewinsky gave birth to her first child, Monica Samille. As the proud father, Bernie, himself a doctor, looked on, the nurses who had helped Marcia through her longest day marveled at the beautiful long eyelashes of her seven-and-a-half-pound daughter. Bernie called her "My little Farfel," farfel meaning "noodle." Bernie Lewinsky's parents had both fled Germany in the 1920s to escape the increased harassment of the Jews by the emerging Nazi Party. His father, George, sought a new life in El Salvador in Central America, where he worked as an accountant for a coffee import--export business. During a trip to London in 1939, on the eve of World War Two, he met Susi, a young German teacher who had left her home in Hamburg after the Gestapo took away her entire class of Jewish children during a raid on the school where she taught Hebrew. Two weeks later George and Susi married. They settled in El Salvador, where they enjoyed an affluent lifestyle, far removed from the horrors of the war that was to devastate Europe. Yet even though their homeland was thousands of miles away, they instilled in their son Bernie, who was born in 1943, the archetypal Teutonic virtues of hard work, self-discipline and respect for the rule of law. When Bernie was fourteen, the family immigrated to California, where, after high school, he went on to study medicine at the University of California in Berkeley and Irvine. It was while he was at medical school that he first met Marcia Vilensky, then aged twenty to his twenty-five. Like George Lewinsky, Marcia's father, Samuel, had fled his native land--in his case, Lithuania, then suffering under Stalin's purges of the 1930s. Samuel Vilensky first settled in San Francisco, where Marcia was born in 1948. When she was four, the family moved to Tokyo, her father having decided that there were exciting business opportunities in postwar Japan. Samuel developed a successful import-export business in Tokyo, and the Vilenskys enjoyed a life as affluent as it was cosmopolitan, given their Russian roots, expatriate social circle and Japanese friends. Marcia and her sister Debra, who was born three years after the family had left America, wanted for nothing: the house was staffed by a bevy of servants, including a chauffeur. The two girls integrated well into the local community, both becoming fluent in Japanese. This idyll was, however, to be abruptly shattered. In 1964, Samuel Vilensky died suddenly of a heart attack. With his death the family business fell in ruins, and Marcia, Debra and their mother, Bernice, had to return to California, where they stayed with Bernice's mother, Olga Polack, in Sonoma County, just outside San Francisco. To support the family, Bernice took a job as a legal secretary, although it barely paid enough to make ends meet. The days of a large house and lavish lifestyle were consigned to history. It was, Marcia recalls, a bitter wrench, "a huge change, to move out of the country you have grown up in." With the family coffers suddenly empty, Marcia enrolled for study at a community college. After two years one of her uncles stepped in, undertaking to pay the fees for her to attend California State University, Northridge, where she majored in urban studies, aiming to become a town planner once she had graduated. These dreams were shelved for good when, at Easter 1968, she met Bernie Lewinsky, a quietly spoken, self-effacing medical student five years her senior. "The bond that drew us together was the fact that we had both lived abroad," says Marcia, although she concedes that after the trauma of her father's death she was looking for emotional security. With Bernie facing the stressful prospect of a medical internship, both families agreed that it would be better if the couple, young as they were, married before he began this time of long hours and little sleep, so that they could, at least for a while, enjoy a normal married life. In the commotion and excitement surrounding the wedding, the differences in their characters--she charming, biddable, shy, unconventional and creative, he undemonstrative, down to earth, practical and hard-working--were set aside, and they were married in a Jewish ceremony at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel in February 1969. Shortly after their wedding they moved to London, where Bernie worked for a year as a registrar (the British term for resident) at the Royal Marsden Hospital, concentrating on his specialist field, oncological cancer. Both look back on that period with fond memories; Marcia, an Anglophile to her fingertips, loved the country's history and tradition, while Bernie enjoyed the challenges he faced at one of the world's leading cancer hospitals. It was during this time that Monica was conceived. Marcia, who returned to San Francisco near the end of Bernie's time at the Royal Marsden in London, excitedly sent a telegram to her husband at the hospital: "Dear Bernard, We're having a baby. Love, Marcia." For Marcia, the arrival of Monica signaled a fulfillment of a kind. As she says, "Like many women of my generation, I never really assigned myself a career. Being a mother was my goal. My kids are precious to me--you could say too important." It was clear from early on that Monica was a bright child; she could talk before she could walk, and was speaking fluently before her second birthday. Marcia doted on her baby daughter, but she soon discovered who was the boss: "Monica," she says, with a smile of weary acceptance. "She was a strong-willed child who always knew her own mind. Yet her strong will and determination have never been to control others. It is all about Monica knowing what is right for Monica." Both her mother and her Aunt Debra remember numerous examples of Monica's utter certainty about her own decisions, even as a small child. When she was two years old, Debra took her to the park near her home in San Francisco to play on the swings. When it was time to leave, Monica refused to get off her swing and, although she adored her aunt--who throughout Monica's life has been a close confidante and staunch friend--ignored all attempts to persuade her to go home. Eventually, Debra tried to trick her by calling out, "Bye," and walking away, thinking the little girl would run and catch up to her. She was wrong. Although it was getting dark, Monica remained glued to her swing. It was only when she had at last had enough that she agreed to leave. "To me," says Debra, "that isn't necessarily bad--she knew her own mind even at two years old. I think she is an exceptional person, quite fascinating. She was then like she is now, charming, sweet, extremely bright and difficult, very strong-willed." Her strength of will, which some might call obstinacy in one so young, surfaced again when Debra was due to marry her fiance, Bill Finerman, a cardiologist, at his grandmother's home in Beverly Hills in 1976. Monica, then three, was to be the flowergirl. Just twenty minutes before the service, she decided that her light-blue dress, which had long sleeves, would look better if it was sleeveless--she already had an eye for fashion. With the bride putting the finishing touches to her own dress, there was no time for argument or persuasion. Marcia decided that the only solution was to do as her daughter wanted, and she reached for her scissors. The offending sleeves removed, Monica happily put on her dress and, her aunt says, "stole the show." Marcia also admits that the combination of her daughter's tenacious yet emotionally needy nature and her own readiness to avoid a fuss, at almost any cost, probably influenced Monica's behavior in adulthood. "I'm by nature non-confrontational; Bernie was very autocratic, very stern, because of his upbringing so you can see the dynamics of the family." In 1976, after Bernie had finished a two-year stint at the Letterman Hospital in San Francisco, the family left their three-bedroom home there for Los Angeles, where he had secured a well-paid position in private practice. A year later, Marcia gave birth again, this time to a boy, whom they named Michael. Monica was thrilled. The four-year age gap was deliberate, designed to prevent sibling rivalry, but Monica adored her baby brother from the first, and immediately nicknamed him "Jo Jo." When mother and son returned to the family's Spanish-style house in Beverly Hills they found, stretched across the front door, ribbons and a huge banner saying: "Welcome Home Jo Jo." She was so taken with her brother that she would often hide in a closet until his nanny, who liked a regimented routine, put him to bed for the night. Then she would squeeze from her hiding place and play with him until they were discovered. "She mothered him to death," recalls Marcia, who, significantly, also observes that, unlike his elder sister, Michael has a relaxed, shrug-of-the-shoulders approach to life's decisions and difficulties. In general, Michael remembers, Monica was "overly thoughtful" and "always concerned about me," though he adds that she was "a great sister." For his part, he agrees that he is much the more level-headed of the two: "Monica can run the spectrum of emotions in a very short amount of time," he says diplomatically. So while he remembers their three-bedroom house on North Hillcrest Drive with affection, recalling days splashing about in their own pool with their father, Monica remembers the fact that the suburb was plagued by raccoons coming into the houses. Although, some people have portrayed Marcia as a flighty socialite, perhaps because under her pen name "Marcia Lewis" she wrote a monthly column for the Hollywood Reporter Magazine, in reality she was a homebody, happy to devote her time and energies to her children. Which was just as well because besides Michael's arrival, there was another significant change for Monica: at the age of six, she first went to school. The John Thomas Dye School in Bel Air is a well-established private school with a daunting academic and social reputation. With its immaculate buildings and grounds, high-caliber teaching staff and a roll-call of former students who have reached the political and economic summits of the country, it is a quintessential example of WASP culture. Its alumni include political friends of former President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, the son of Katharine Graham, owner of the Washington Post, and also a number of California congressmen and senators. For a time, this bright, lively Jewish girl fit in well. She excelled at mathematics, her written work regularly earned top grades, and her love of poetry was recognized early on. The fact that both her parents read to her a lot as a child and encouraged her own reading was a significant factor in her early intellectual growth. In the hothouse atmosphere of John Thomas Dye it was perhaps no surprise that her stated ambition was to become President of the United States. She had other, less daunting, dreams, however. When she was seven she wrote that she wanted "to be a teacher and help other people to learn . . I would be nice but strict," she stated. Nancy Krasne, a family friend who was in the same school car pool as the Lewinskys, and who has known them for twenty years, remembers Monica as a "very special girl" among a high-powered group. "I always thought that she was the one who was going to be successful," Nancy says. "Monica was very bright, bordering on the brilliant, and very expressive. She was hard-working, conscientious, very much the little adult in some ways, but in others, emotionally very immature. The problem was that she didn't fit the Beverly Hills mold, even though she was so eager to please, to join in with the others." As an example of this driving wish not to be set apart from her fellows or, worse, excluded by them, Monica once spent an entire weekend at home learning how to jump rope so that she could join in with the other girls on schooldays. For a girl who confesses that she is hopeless at sports, nothing could better demonstrate her overwhelming desire to be one of the crowd. She certainly made the grade academically, regularly winning commendations for her work, and invariably bringing home excellent report cards. She remembers it as "a really terrific school . . very challenging and mind-opening." But there were drawbacks. The fact that she lived some way from the school in Bel Air meant that it was difficult for her schoolfriends to drop by to play--at that time Barbie dolls and Olivia Newton-John, star of the film musical Grease , were all the rage. When she was nine and entering third grade, there were incidents at school, if not of physical bullying, at least of the casual cattiness and cliquishness of children, particularly girls, which often remain as a canker in the psyche well into adult life. Nor was her cause helped by the fact that she was beginning to get a little overweight. She was dubbed "Big Mac" by one of her classmates, Matthew Spaulding, a gibe made all the more painful because at the time she was harboring a schoolgirl crush on him. Monica also vividly remembers the time when Tori Spelling, the daughter of the Hollywood film mogul Aaron Spelling, held a birthday party at her parents' palatial home. Pop superstar Michael Jackson and the world's smallest pony were expected to be two of the competing attractions at this most glittering of occasions, and everyone in Tori's class was invited--except Monica. Not knowing if the omission was a casual oversight or a deliberate snub, Marcia rang the Spellings' social secretary to check. As a result, an invitation was duly sent out, even though Monica had not been on the original guest list. Marcia, not surprisingly, concealed this fact from her daughter, and Monica only discovered that she had not been invited as a matter of course when two classmates taunted her about the late invitation. Monica had no idea why Tori should choose to exclude her, especially as they were in Brownies together. However, once she realized the truth of the situation she refused, as a matter of principle, to attend. It was a tough decision for a girl so eager to please and so desperate to belong, but it was also an early sign of one of Monica's most formidable characteristics, her unshakable resolve. She says of the incident, "My mom always taught me to do unto others as you would want done to you. So you should invite everyone to your birthday parties, you should give everyone in your class a Valentine's card. You shouldn't exclude people. Not only is it bad manners, it is very hurtful." That emphasis on good manners and proper form, something which in part reflected the European influences of her parents, was noticed by those who visited her Beverly Hills home. A friend from her schooldays, Michelle Glazov, recalls that Monica was expected to behave with "almost Victorian decorum" at home, in marked contrast to most of their contemporaries. Moreover, while Bernie and Marcia were not overtly religious, they followed Jewish cultural traditions, sending Monica to Hebrew school at the strict Sinai Temple--a source of resentment in their daughter, who wanted to attend a less orthodox synagogue with her schoolfriends. At the same time, the high sense of entitlement that comes with living in Beverly Hills led to frequent family clashes, particularly between Monica and her father. For example, when her best friend got her own phone line and Snoopy telephone, Monica asked if she could have the same, and there were tears and tantrums when her father said no. There were similar quarrels when he wouldn't buy her a Minnie Mouse dress during a visit to Disneyland. "I guess growing up it seemed that Mom was the yes one and Dad was the no one," says Monica, "which is not uncommon in a lot of families." Bernie agrees: "Oh yes, I was called 'Dr. No' by my kids, all that kind of stuff." The focus on materialism, on owning the latest designer clothes and gadgets, was an inevitable corollary of growing up in Beverly Hills, a place where surface and show form the fabric of social life, where to be willowy, blonde and driving the latest BMW is for many people the standard. This obsession with status and money became too much for Monica's beloved Aunt Debra, who decided to move east with her husband and son Alex for a less status-conscious life. "It's a great place for people in their twenties but not good to raise children," she says. "Monica never really fit in. If she had been very thin and in with the fast crowd she would have been OK. But it really wasn't her." With hindsight, Marcia too regrets the years spent in Beverly Hills, recognizing that her children, particularly Monica, were not suited to the lifestyle. "I myself was never happy in LA. I felt that it wasn't the right place, and I'm sure that was communicated--perhaps unwittingly--to my children." Monica is more pragmatic, recognizing that if children are raised in a certain environment, their parents have to accept the consequences of that upbringing. She accepts, too, that there is a streak of acquisitiveness in her character that she might not have had if she had been raised in a different city, a different culture. "I don't think I'm a spoiled brat. I don't fit into the Beverly Hills stereotype--in fact that was one of my problems growing up there. However, I do have a certain level of expectation about what I deserve, both from the way in which I was brought up, and from the environment in which I was brought up." Her high sense of expectation gave rise to a classic confrontation between father and daughter when she asked for a Bat-mitzvah to celebrate her coming-of-age. It is customary in Beverly Hills for Jewish children to have very elaborate Bar/Bat-mitzvah parties at the age of thirteen, usually held in a ballroom or the reception room of the temple with friends and parents' friends: "Like a wedding for one," recalls Monica. Sometimes the reception would be themed with a main attraction, such as a magician. Wanting to be like all the other kids, Monica anticipated a big celebration. Instead, Bernie offered to spend $500 on a party in the backyard of the family home. A full-scale party was not beyond his means but he believed that that was quite sufficient to celebrate an event that was supposed to be religious. Monica, knowing well how this would fail to impress her peers, let it be known in no uncertain terms that it most certainly was not sufficient, nor was it what she wanted. When her mother took her side, the result was a hurtful family argument, in which, inevitably, things were said that would have been much better left unsaid. In the end she did have a birthday party, complete with a DJ and a hotdog stand, and admits that "it was fun." Yet the relationship between Monica and her father was by no means characterized by an endless locking of horns. Monica recalls spending hours watching him work at his hobby--woodworking--although she was never allowed to help. She remembers, too, with much pleasure the day when he gave her her first bike--a pink contraption with a banana seat--and then took her to the movie E.T., after which he cooked a special picnic supper of barbecue chicken. Certainly Bernie seemed atypical of the disengaged Beverly Hills professional concerned more with with his career than with his children. He often woke Monica late at night or at dawn to watch important events on TV like the first launch of the space shuttle or the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales. At other times they would sit out in the warm California night and he would point out and identify for her the stars and planets and constellations. When she was eleven she wrote him a touching Father's Day tribute: "My dad is the best in the West. He is very kind and considerate twenty-four hours of the day. Maybe some fathers don't deserve to be treated specially but my dad really does deserve it." Monica fondly recalls wearing a pink T-shirt emblazoned with the words "Daddy's Little Girl," and says, "I always wanted to be Daddy's little girl." She also says, though, that she was always trying to gain his approval but never really felt that she won it, taking very much to heart her father's slightest criticism or adverse comment. In his own quiet fashion Bernie did and does love her dearly, but in Monica's eyes he was never quite as expressive or demonstrative as she would have wished. Thus it is not difficult to see how this emotionally needy child--a child, moreover, who had such high expectations of those she cared for--often felt disappointed or rejected when her desires were not met. "I always remember getting into fights with Dad, usually at mealtimes, and I would usually leave the table crying," she remembers. While her childhood memories are of her father coming home from work tired and irascible, she now concedes that the draining emotional strains of a demanding job, where every day he was dealing with seriously ill patients, contributed to their increasingly fractious relationship. "Monica so wanted to be Daddy's little girl," says Marcia. "She had these very high expectations and her father was not like that. It's not that he's a bad man; it's just that he's not the sort to say: 'Come and sit on my knee, you pretty little girl.' It was not his way." While her relationship with her father was, and continues to be, tricky, Monica forged a close and affectionate bond with her mother, who almost invariably sided with her in family quarrels. "My mom and I are so similar," she says. "We talk very similarly and have the same intonations." Yet, while Monica seemed to be the dominant partner in the relationship, beneath the bluster and argument she needed her mother much more than she cared to admit, even to herself. Aunt Debra comments, "I think it is a typical mother-daughter relationship, very loving but with conflicts of opinion." Monica wrote of her deep emotional bond with her mother in a school essay about the Hungarian-born Jewish poet Hannah Senesh, a World War Two agent of British Intelligence; in 1944 she was captured in Hungary by the Nazis, tortured and shot. The young Monica got the story a bit muddled after seeing the 1988 movie Hanna's War , and thought the Nazis had told Senesh that her mother would be killed unless she, Hannah, revealed details of the British spy network. In a telling passage in her essay, Monica wrote: "I wish that I had the inner conviction that Hannah Senesh had. I am not nearly half as brave as she was. However, what I have in common with Hannah is that I too share a very close relationship with my mother. Hannah and her mother had a bond that could not be broken by anything and that is the same with me." As a result of seeing the film she may have got parts of the story wrong--when Senesh was arrested, her mother was in fact living not in Hungary but in Palestine--but the love and loyalty illustrated in her version of it affected her deeply. It became even more important to her on the day her "friend" Linda Tripp betrayed her. Even so, although the deep emotional dynamics of the interdependence between herself, her mother and her father contain the key to understanding Monica's personality, it would be a mistake to seat all her actions in those relationships. The craving to be respected and liked by her peers and, linked to that, her anxiety about her weight should not be overlooked as influences upon her character and behavior. Whatever her emotional problems, there was no questioning her intellectual ability. By the time she left the elementary school in Beverly Hills, it had become clear that she had a photographic memory, particularly for numbers, while her logical mind--a quality she ascribes to her father's side of the family--and eloquence made her a formidable student. Nancy Krasne believes that "she was definitely Ivy League material." When, aged ten, Monica transferred from John Thomas Dye to Hawthorne Elementary School, also in Beverly Hills, she soon proved her academic gifts. But fourth and fifth grade were to be difficult for Monica. Whilst she made friends she became increasingly hampered by her feelings of inadequacy and, like many teenage girls, these feelings became focused on her weight. In a world where to be thin corresponds to a high sense of personal worth and status, Monica's unathletic build, coupled with the fact that she reached puberty earlier than her contemporaries, disturbed her. She desperately wanted to belong, yet her chubby figure made her feel like an outsider, contributing to her emotional burden. However, it was around this time that Monica started to become interested in boys. Mark Streams, a classmate, gave her a chocolate-covered, heart-shaped lollipop and she considered him to be her "boyfriend." By sixth grade Monica had become popular with her schoolfellow and a growing spurt the summer before had resulted in a slimmed-down figure. However, the weight problems were to continue and Monica was thrilled, when, the summer before eighth grade, her mother allowed her to attend a "fat camp" in Santa Barbara, a summer school for overweight youngsters which offers a regime of healthy diet and regular exercise. "I wouldn't say it was fun," recalls Monica, "but of course I was dying to go. My mom really wanted me to go too because she had had her own battles with her weight in her life and so could empathize. Living in LA it was really important how you looked. It was upsetting to me because I didn't want to be fat." She arrived at Hawthorne for the fall term feeling leaner, fitter and much more confident. "It was the start of a great year for me," she recalls. That year, Monica was voted Vice-President of her class by her schoolfellows. It was then that the first President came into her life. It was not Bill Clinton, of course, but the President of her class, Danny Shabani. As President and Vice-President, he and Monica, then thirteen, spent a lot of time together, organizing events and chatting regularly on the telephone. They became close friends. "He was smart, cute and had a tender side to him, not something you saw all the time," says Monica. Although she had had a crush on him the year before, Monica valued her friendship with Danny and the only time they came close to a date was in the summer of her fourteenth birthday when he invited her to the movies. When he brought her home, she found that, ever the gentleman, he had secretly arranged for the delivery of a bouquet of a dozen red roses, her favorite flowers. "It was," she says, "one of the most romantic things anyone has ever done for me. It was so sweet." The only thing which spoiled the moment was the fact that Michael, who idolized Danny, hung around the couple spoiling Monica's hopes of a kiss. While her relationship with Danny remained platonic, Monica began dating a teenager who became her first real boyfriend, Adam Dave. "Adam was very, very smart. I've always been attracted to intelligent men," she says. At the same time, to begin with, the relationship was fun. When he played baseball Monica was there to cheer him on, and she would spend hours in the evenings chatting to him on the telephone. Some nights she would even hide in her clothes closet whispering down the line because it was past the time she was supposed to be using the phone. However, their teenage romance went on to anticipate the pattern of all her relationships, an emotional roller coaster characterized by angry partings followed in turn by affectionate longing. This behavior was to characterize her relationships with the two married men in her life. Monica explains it thus: "I am a very emotional and romantic person, but also pragmatic and logical. The combination of those elements means that I want to be in love and enjoy the perfect relationship, yet I only believe the relationship is 'real' if a man gets mad at me when I do something wrong. If a man is never upset with me or something I did, then he is not being honest about his feelings or honest with me--and so I feel that he is being a phony. I also feel this way about men who always agree with me." So she had a fight with Adam Dave because--as illogical as it may seem--he refused to argue with her and thus confirm to her that their romance was real and therefore "true." The result was that she ended their relationship, and then spent months pining for Adam when he refused to kiss and make up. It was another early sign that, though Monica knew her own mind, she had little control over her heart. As Monica was grappling with the trials and tribulations of adolescence, her parents were trying to come to terms with the disintegration of their marriage. For many years their friends had seen the divide both in their characters and in their aspirations. "They should never have got married in the first place, they just weren't suited to each other," observes one family friend. Monica, who admits she literally internalized the family stresses and strains by eating, says of that time: "My family life was not pleasant. My father worked a lot and the stress of his job, dealing with sick and dying people, was toll taking. It did not help his mood to come home to a relationship that was not right for either of my parents. We always ate dinner together but they were often unpleasant. My parents fought, but not necessarily in front of us. They weren't very affectionate or loving towards each other. We did things, the four of us, but we weren't the quintessential family. I think that was hard for me because I really wanted that. I love the idea of a family Thanksgiving and family Christmas. I am very family-oriented, I grew up watching the Brady Bunch TV show and had ideals about how I wanted my family to be. It's one of the things I would most like to change about myself--I have a tendency to write the script and to decide in my own mind how other people should act and what they should say and feel. Then I get disappointed when inevitably they don't follow the script because it is an impossible scenario." Though Monica saw almost every moment of the drama unfolding in her parents' marriage, she didn't realize that its final curtain was about to fall. Nor, for that matter, did Bernie. In September 1987 he was in his office, gently explaining to a woman patient that she was suffering from lung cancer, and that it might prove to be terminal. Suddenly his receptionist interrupted the consultation, telling him that there was someone to see him, and that it was urgent. As he walked out into the lobby a small man scurried up to him, shouted, "Divorce papers!" and threw a package at him--it hit him on the chest--before scuttling away. Bernie's comment on the incident is as understated as it is literal. "It came like a bolt from the blue." Copyright (c) 1999 by Andrew Morton and Prufrock LLC Excerpted from Monica's Story by Andrew Morton All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Author's Acknowledgmentsp. 9
Forewordp. 11
Preface: Betrayal at Pentagon Cityp. 24
1 "My Little Farfel"p. 32
2 Tremors at Homep. 56
3 Grunge, Granola and Andyp. 83
4 Monica Goes to Washingtonp. 108
5 "He Was Like Rays of Sunshine"p. 136
6 The Waiting Gamep. 166
7 Not Right in the Eyes of Godp. 205
8 "To Have Him in My Life"p. 238
Photograph Acknowledgmentsp. 305
9 "Everyone Gets a Job with a Little Help"p. 306
10 Enter Kenneth Starrp. 344
11 Terror in Room 1012p. 390
12 "I Didn't Matter Anymore"p. 427
13 The Starr Chamberp. 469
14 The Avuncular Mr. Ginsburgp. 500
15 "An Utterly Preposterous Document"p. 532
Conclusion: Girl on a Swingp. 576
Postscript: "Sometimes I Miss Him So Much"p. 597

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