City of flickering light

Juliette Fay

Book - 2019

"It's July 1921, "flickers" are all the rage, and Irene Van Beck has just declared her own independence by jumping off a moving train to escape her fate in a traveling burlesque show. When her friends, fellow dancer Millie Martin and comedian Henry Weiss, leap after her, the trio finds their way to the bright lights of Hollywood with hopes of making it big in the burgeoning silent film industry. At first glance, Hollywood in the 1920s is like no other place on earth--iridesc...ent, scandalous, and utterly exhilarating--and the three friends yearn for a life they could only have dreamed of before. But despite the glamour and seduction of Tinseltown, success doesn't come easy, and nothing can prepare Irene, Millie, and Henry for the poverty, temptation, and heartbreak that lie ahead. With their ambitions challenged by both the men above them and the prejudice surrounding them, their friendship is the only constant through desperate times, as each struggles to find their true calling in an uncertain world. What begins as a quest for fame and fortune soon becomes a collective search for love, acceptance, and fulfillment as they navigate the backlots and stage sets where the illusions of the silver screen are brought to life" --

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Historical fiction
New York : Gallery Books 2019.
First Gallery books hardcover edition
Physical Description
x, 380 pages ; 24 cm
Main Author
Juliette Fay (author)
Review by Booklist Review

Irene, Millie, and Henry literally stumble into Hollywood when they jump from a train carrying them to yet another demeaning gig as members of a tawdry burlesque troupe. Their escape unites the unlikely trio in a one for all and all for one camaraderie on a quest to find lodging and employment, not necessarily in that order. And they succeed in great degrees. Irene channels her creativity into a career as a screenwriter, while bubbly, flirtatious Millie lands work as a movie extra. But it is Henry who makes it big, his movie-star good looks landing him precisely that role in life. Yet their road to success is every bit as bumpy as the one that brought them to Hollywood, for Millie battles sexual assault and a drug habit, and Irene and Henry both find love in unconventional places. The descendant of a vaudevillian, Fay follows her tale of traveling acrobats, The Tumbling Turner Sisters (2016), with this atmospheric portrait of early Tinseltown, peppering her characters' escapades with real people and places and creating a buoyant tale of friendship and loyalty.--Carol Haggas Copyright 2019 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In Fay's good-hearted novel, Irene Van Beck, Millie Martin, and Henry Weiss jump from a moving train in 1921 to escape the burlesque show where they're employed and its dangerous henchman and head to Hollywood. There they discover that their friendship plays the most important role in their search for fame, fortune, and happiness. Irene has an affinity for screenwriting, the camera adores the lovely Millie, and Henry's handsome face takes him from set tailor to leading man. They each find romance; Henry's passionate love affair with a male director is particularly well portrayed. Fay vividly captures the grit and glamour of 1920s Hollywood, and Gert Turner, from Fay's previous novel, The Tumbling Turner Sisters, even makes an appearance. This talented trio's journey isn't free of tragedy, but their love and support for each other sees them through trying times. It's a dishy but never salacious tale, chock full of details that will delight readers fascinated with silent films and what goes on behind the scenes. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved