Friday, July 14, 2017

Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner ~ Book Review

In 1938 Violet and Audrey meet in Hollywood working in the secretarial pool for the making of the movie Gone With the Wind.   Violet is from a small town and looking to start life over in a new place.  Her deepest desire is to become a wife and mother and have a happy home. Audrey is a bit older and more experienced.  Having gotten a big break a few years back in a silent film that fell to the introduction of talking movies, she is looking to get re-noticed and be made into the star she knows she can be.  When she finds out Violet is looking for a place to live, she offers a room in her home and the two, though so different, become extraordinary life long friends.   But the things each woman does to hide the fears from their pasts and to achieve their deepest desires could come to a head and put their very friendship at risk and change the course of their lives.

Meanwhile in present day, Christine McAllistar comes across the find of a life time when a hat from the movie Gone With the Wind mistakenly surfaces in a box of donated clothing to her vintage clothing boutique.  As she returns it to the owner at their request the mystery of how it ended up there intrigues her.

I loved this book.  It's a story of deep friendship and what the definition of that is.  It explores what one does and justifies to oneself as one seeks after their dreams and desires.   What secrets would we hide, what we would expose?   It explores the concept of love and fear sometimes feeling like the same thing and how we hang onto things thinking we love them but in reality we are afraid to let go and that is exactly what love would have us to do.  Both women made choices in their lives motivated by the wrong reasons and were broken characters that ultimately just wanted to be happy.  I thought the characters were well written, though that doesn't necessarily mean that I always liked them, in fact at times they were infuriating, but that is part of the draw for me.  Characters who are flawed and can draw out emotions in me. I thought the author brought the set and making of Gone With the Wind and old Hollywood to life and also touched on  how World War II affected Hollywood and the making of films.   I love this author's ability to tie a historical story into a present day story.

I enjoyed the concept of this story thoroughly and how it played out in the character's lives.  It made me think about some of my own choices in life and the motivations behind them long after I closed the book.  Worth reading are the interview with the author and thinking about some of the reader's group questions.  I gave it a 10/10.


Barbara H. said...

I have enjoyed other titles from this author and have looked at this one but not gotten it yet. Now I want to! Thanks for the review.

Faith said...

This sounds wonderful! and i have definitely heard of this author but honestly I don't know if I've read some thing else by her or if i just recognize her name from the town library. :)

Powell River Books said...

It must have been an exciting time with all the movie industry influences. I grew up nearby but never felt all the hype. - Margy

Elizabeth said...

This book was so very good.

I have enjoyed other books by her since I read this one. This was my first one.

Thanks for sharing.

Nice post and review.

Silver's Reviews