Stars over Sunset Boulevard
About This 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.
You know it’s a good book when you choose to make popcorn for dinner because it can be prepared and eaten with only one hand . . . thus you don’t have to put down the book! Last year I read Kate Alcott’s A Touch of Stardust, and when I first saw the description of Meissner’s new story, I admit my first thought was, “Seriously? Another another behind-the-scenes-of-Gone–with–the–Wind story?” Both stories were not only about the making of the epic movie, but featured young, innocent heroines thrown into the late 1930s Hollywood scene and all the drama that went on during the movie’s filming.
But that’s where the similarities end and, while Alcott’s story while it certainly had its merits, for my part, Stars over Sunset Boulevard was better.
Meissner captured not only the glitter and drama of the golden age of Hollywood, but also used the very themes and character studies of Margaret Mitchell’s original story to craft her own flawed, broken, beautiful characters. I found myself really relating to Violet and Audrey’s friendship, especially as they got older and life pulled them in different directions. Audrey, in particular, was a fascinating character for me, one who was clearly her own worst enemy and yet always found a way to pick herself up, dust herself off, and start all over again. And again and again. And there was just enough romance in the story to give it a “will they or won’t they?” undercurrent that you don’t always see in women’s fiction.
The “modern” part of the story really serves as more of a Greek Chorus to help move the story along and cover gaps in the historical narrative, so don’t expect a full dual-time-period story such as Meissner has written in the past. What you can expect, however, is an emotionally engaging, entertaining, and ultimately uplifting story of lifelong friendship, sacrifice, and redemption. This book really has a lot for everyone—stunning period detail for the historical fiction fan and strong, flawed heroines for the women’s fiction fan. If you ever liked the old movie Beaches, if you’ve ever watched Gone with the Wind and long to wear a hoop skirt and a fabulous velvet hat, you will absolutely love Stars over Sunset Boulevard. Wholeheartedly recommend it!
Available January 5, 2016 from NAL Trade