Wednesday, December 23, 2015

5 Stars: Platinum Doll by Anne Girard

Publisher: MIRA
Historical Fiction
Buy: AMZ

About the Book

Set against the dazzling backdrop of Golden Age Hollywood, novelist Anne Girard tells the enchanting story of Jean Harlow, one of the most iconic stars in the history of film.

It's the Roaring Twenties and seventeen-year-old Harlean Carpenter McGrew has run off to Beverly Hills. She's chasing a dream;to escape her small, Midwestern life and see her name in lights.In California, Harlean has everything a girl could want;a rich husband, glamorous parties, socialite friends;except an outlet for her talent. But everything changes when a dare pushes her to embrace her true ambition: to be an actress on the silver screen. 

With her timeless beauty and striking shade of platinum-blond hair, Harlean becomes Jean Harlow. And as she's thrust into the limelight, Jean learns that this new world of opportunity comes with its own set of burdens. Torn between her family and her passion to perform, Jean is forced to confront the difficult truth;that fame comes at a price, if only she's willing to pay it. Amid a glittering cast of ingenues and Hollywood titans: Clara Bow, Clark Gable, Laurel and Hardy, Howard Hughes, Platinum Doll introduces us to the star who would shine brighter than them all.

Long before we held the story of Marilyn Monroe as the gold standard for Hollywood tragedy, there was Jean Harlow. She was beautiful and talented, a competent film comedienne (go rent Dinner At Eight). I picked up Platinum Doll because I love Old Hollywood fiction, and I hadn't read a Harlow biography before, though I know her story.

Girard keeps the timeline limited to the beginning and peak of Harlow's fame, perhaps the few moment of happiness in life. You can't help but feel for young Harlean who wants a career and to please her overbearing mother (who makes Kris Jenner look complacent, damn) and her dissatisfied husband. Harlean/Jean sadly didn't have a long, happy life, but burned brightly like a star she was.

I enjoyed this book. If you love classic Hollywood stories I think you'll enjoy this.

ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley.

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