Monday, January 11, 2016

Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner

About the Book:

In this new novel from the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life, two women working in Hollywood during its Golden Age discover the joy and heartbreak of true friendship.
Los Angeles, Present Day. When an iconic hat worn by Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind  ends up in Christine McAllister’s vintage clothing boutique by mistake, her efforts to return it to its owner take her on a journey more enchanting than any classic movie…

Los Angeles, 1938.  Violet Mayfield sets out to reinvent herself in Hollywood after her  dream of becoming a wife and mother falls apart, and lands a job on the film-set of Gone With the Wind. There, she meets enigmatic Audrey Duvall, a once-rising film star who is now a fellow secretary.

Audrey’s zest for life and their adventures together among Hollywood’s glitterati enthrall Violet…until each woman’s deepest desires collide.  What Audrey and Violet are willing to risk, for themselves and for each other, to ensure their own happy endings will shape their friendship, and their lives, far into the future.

My Thoughts:

I absolutely love every story Susan Meissner crafts!  While I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction, Susan demonstrates a genuine gift of combining the stories of yesterday with the contemporary tales of today.

"Stars Over Sunset Boulevard" is a gem of a book.  We journey back to classic Hollywood, during the filming of the classic 'Gone With the Wind'.  There we encounter two young women, each struggling to find her destiny.

Violet is an up and coming star, seeking a universe to inhabit.  When she lands a job on the set of the iconic film, she's over the moon.  There she encounters Audrey, a gal who has that essence of fame that entices, and a woman with her own goal of fame in mind.

There world collides decades into the future when an unusual hat finds its way into a vintage clothing store owned by Christine McAllister.  All three women are on a journey to find a place in this great big world, but all three employ different methods to get to their destinations.

Ironically, "Stars Over Sunset Boulevard" reads much darker than Susan's previous novel about the evacuation of London's children during World War II.  Quite possibly because of Hollywood's hidden side, the kind of seedy 'walk on him to get to where you're going' side.  But the characters are richly developed, and the story is gripping and honest.

If you love historical fiction, get this book.  If you prefer contemporary fiction, get this book.  If, like me, you can't get enough of what I call dual genre fiction, you must--get this book.  I've read many books, and I've yet to find anyone else who can expertly marry history with contemporary quite as well and as stylishly as Susan Meissner.

Highly recommended.

Happy Reading!



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