Friday, December 11, 2015

3 Stars - Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner

Publisher: Penguin
Historical Fiction
Buy: AMZ

About the Book

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.

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I wanted to read this title because I enjoy Old Hollywood fiction, and the premise reminded me a bit of A Touch of Stardust, which I enjoyed. Like that book, Stars Over Sunset Boulevard is set during the filming of Gone With the Wind, but the movie is merely a distant backdrop in the story of two women with different ambitions in the 1930s. Audrey wants to be a "star," more so than being an actress, while Violet longs for a picket fence and family. The progression of their friendship could easily have existed without the GWTW subplot - unlike Kate Alcott's book, there's very little interaction between the film stars and the main book characters.

Overall, the book reads rather quickly, but seems to fall short in places. It's not exactly a love triangle story, and you might lose sympathy for one character in the story due to her meddling and manipulation of her friend and the gentleman in question. I suppose I had expected something different in the story.

ARC received from NetGalley.

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