Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Hollywood Daughter ~ Kate Alcott (earc) review [@doubledaybooks]

The Hollywood Daughter
Doubleday Books
March 07, 2017
320 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dressmaker and A Touch of Stardust, comes a Hollywood coming-of-age novel, in which Ingrid Bergman's affair with Roberto Rossellini forces her biggest fan to reconsider everything she was raised to believe

In 1950, Ingrid Bergman - already a major star after movies like Casablanca and Joan of Arc - has a baby out of wedlock with her Italian lover, film director Roberto Rossellini. Previously held up as an icon of purity, Bergman's fall shocked her legions of American fans.

Growing up in Hollywood, Jessica Malloy watches as her PR executive father helps make Ingrid a star at Selznick Studio. Over years of fleeting interactions with the actress, Jesse comes to idolize Ingrid, who she considered not only the epitome of elegance and integrity, but also the picture-perfect mother, an area where her own difficult mom falls short.

In a heated era of McCarthyism and extreme censorship, Ingrid's affair sets off an international scandal that robs seventeen-year-old Jesse of her childhood hero. When the stress placed on Jesse's father begins to reveal hidden truths about the Malloy family, Jesse's eyes are opened to the complex realities of life and love.

Beautifully written and deeply moving, The Hollywood Daughter is an intimate novel of self-discovery that evokes a Hollywood sparkling with glamour and vivid drama.
The Hollywood Daughter is a fantastic example of storytelling. Kate Alcott uses individuals (and their stories) to tell a/the story that is broader end more far reaching than that of the individual. The 1940's and 50's were a turbulent time in Hollywood and in the United States, from World War II to the influence of the Catholic Church and censors to McCarthyism,

Those are things that most of us are aware of, at least on a surface level but this novel lets readers to see things on a more human level. They were things I knew of but I never really examined for how much the could mean for one person or for one family's life. The Hollywood Daughter really allows readers to personalize some large, known if not really understood events in the history of the country and of Hollywood.

Ingrid Bergman's story and the way pubic attitudes and perceptions towards her mirrored what the county st large was grappling with frame the story well. It is a book about Bergman and Jesse's relationship with her, but so much more as well.  You do learn about Bergman, her life and career but it is't only about her.

The Hollywood Daughter is a great rad about a dramatic time in Hollywood an din America. I loved that this book was not as much about Ingrid Bergman as much as it was about who and what she represented to people and how that changed over time. Using both Ingrid Bergman and Jesse, the journey they each take, their growth, loss, grief, trial, tribulations and successes is a smart choice and makes for a more layered, thoughtful tale.

digital review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

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