A Touch of Stardust was wonderful timing after reading Burial Rites. I needed something upbeat and light. I am glad I did. Reading, Touch of stardustA Touch of Stardust was wonderful timing after reading Burial Rites. I needed something upbeat and light. I am glad I did. Reading, Touch of stardust was literary, a touch of stardust. This is the second novel I read by Kate Alcott. The first was Dressmaker. Which was a wonderful to read as well.
I love novels that take place during the turn of the century to the 1930's. Loved the movie, Gone with the Wind. What a great combination for me. Do you know anyone that didn't think Clark Gable was H-O-T! Before hot was a word? LOL! You see before Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jollie, there was Clark and Carole.
I have always loved the classic movies from MGM, Warner brothers, etc. I have never read a book that fictionalized Hollywood, or the screen stars. But, I have read plenty of biographies of the stars, Judy Garland, Lucille Ball, Shirley Temple, etc. This was a treat.
A Touch of Stardust is about Julie Crawford from Indiana. With the protest of her parents she goes off in the sunset toward California. She arrives in Hollywood to make her mark. She's fired within a few days of arriving with the famous director( Selznick). Which incidentially is during the making of the contraversal movie, Gone with the Wind.
At the same time she is fated to meet Andy Weinstein who has plenty of connections. He gets her into another job working with, actress Carole Lombard as her assistant. With these connections she is at the movie studio during the making the movie. Which was not easy with Selznick( director). He was a very difficult person to get along with. At every turn of the making of GWTW, there seemed to be trouble.
Eventually Julie gets another break. She would rather be a screenwriter. She finalizes her play, and her friend Carole calls the famous Francis Marion. Ms. Marion, eventually is able to get her a job. She is working on a trial basis.
Francis Marion by the way is a famous screenwriter. She wrote many silent movies with Mary Pickford( silent film star). She is the first woman screenwriter that won an oscar.
In the meantime, there many things going on. Her boyfriend Andy, was Jewish. What it was like to be Jewish during this time.( for me it was interesting). The relationship of Carole Lombard, and Clark Gable as they were not married yet, Learning about Hollywood, and how an actor or actress can get caught up in the razzle dazzle of it all.
The behind the scenes relationship of Rhett and Scarlett. How Clark Gable didn't like the fact that the black actors were not welcome in Atlanta when the premiere opened. Clark Gable was going to start a protest. The movie makers did not at the time want to start trouble in Europe. Movies that were made slid by without talking about war.
The best part was how the relationship of Carole and Julie played out. Carole was a wize cracker. I didn't realize she was a comedianne, and pretty much sprouted out everything not realizing the consequences. My favorite part was when Julie brought her parents over for a barbeque with Clark making the bar-b-que. I could picture this.
There are something that other reviewers were bothered by. They felt somethings were not realistic. But, this is fiction. The writer can play out the book how she wants. If it bothers you so much, then read a biography or memoir. I enjoyed reading A Touch of Stardust immensely. I would love to read other fictionalized books about actors and the Hollywood business in the early years of MGM, Warner brothers, etc. ...more
Great readig for the beach. It kept my interest the entire time. Betrayal is about three main characters, Judy, Aunt Barb, and Judy's mom( you Judy trGreat readig for the beach. It kept my interest the entire time. Betrayal is about three main characters, Judy, Aunt Barb, and Judy's mom( you Judy travels to her aunt's house by her mom's request. When she arrives she learns Aunt Barb has breast ca0cer. She is to have surgery in the next couple days. In the mean time she mean time she meets Iris. Iris is an illegal from Mexico. Her aunt adores her. She is counting on her to help her through the surgery.
After Iris leaves the house Judy finds a stash of money, about 50,000. During the night doesn't report to her job. She found dead in her car. It appears it was natural causes. But was it ?? Judy starts snooping around with her sick aunt. Thing don't seem to appear as you think. Her best friend apparenly left town. The priest is dead. What is going on? No one wants to answer questions. Things appear to get worse, and more suspicions. You will just have to find out the rest because I don't want to ruin it for you. This story keeps you guessing and turning the pages. I haven't read her mystery in years. She also writes another type of genre, last year. It was good too. But, this was terrific. I recommend this for anyone that is looking for something to read to escape from it all. This is a great book to read this summer on the beach. I recommend this highly. ...more
North of Boston, the title alone drew me in. But like they say, don't judge a book by it's cover.
The character's were well developed. The plot was goNorth of Boston, the title alone drew me in. But like they say, don't judge a book by it's cover.
The character's were well developed. The plot was good up to a point. The beginning drew me in where she was on a boat with her friend. She was thrown off the boat in extreme cold for hours. Her friend never found again. But, that is where I felt the story lost me.
Come on, she became a experiment for the govt because she was able to tolerate extreme cold temperture for hours. Then she is the heiress of a perfume company. She and her father have relationship issues, ok, I get that. But, then the story becomes a whaling, envoirmental discussion, her mother had an affair years ago before her daughter found out. Now, she realizes who her mother had an affair with. Her mother's lover holds a vial of perfume that was forgotten and miraculously shows up. It just didn't connect with me.
But the characters in the story were well developed, and it was a fast pace novel, that made me want to turn the pages at first. But, like I said the plot didn't do anything for me.
I appreciate the author writing about the fishing industry, Boston( where my family is from), and the killing of whales that was a subject of debate years ago. I wish the story went another way. Because I think she had a good subject about the fishing industry, but not these character's didn't work because where she came from. But, the writing was wonderful, and poetic, especially the last paragraph.
It looks like everyone else loved the book. I am sorry to say it didn't work for me. I would like to thank the publicist for allowing me to review. ...more
Loved this book, I recommend it highly, if you want to know more about the Aleppo Codex, the Jewish Aleppo community. What happened to this highly sacLoved this book, I recommend it highly, if you want to know more about the Aleppo Codex, the Jewish Aleppo community. What happened to this highly sacred Crown. Why was everyone after this book. Israel was suppose to keep for safekeeping. All of sudden 200 pages are missing. Why was there a cover up? What community owns history? Or doesn't. Matti Friedman a journalist, kept us guessing. My only complaint at times he kept repeating the same thing, over clarifying, several times. I wanted to jump to the author and ask why. But, still I highly recommend. Our Rabbi, in the next couple weeks will be collaborating with The Jewish Grand Strand Reads.
He will be discussing the importance of the book. Why it is significant to the Jewish community. I am looking forward to his lecture after reading Aleppo Codex. ...more
I recommend Girls of Atomic City if you are a history buff, and love to hear of women in strength. It is a great read for book club with great discussI recommend Girls of Atomic City if you are a history buff, and love to hear of women in strength. It is a great read for book club with great discussion. You won't believe what comes up after reading this. This is one of our best discussions we have had in a great while.
My grandmother was one of those ladies at the factory, and in the navy yards in Boston. Like many she helped and contributed for the war effort. She made the planes in the navy yards in Boston. That is my story, but posted below is another forgotten story that was kept secret till after the war.
Before World War two, the town of Oak Ridge, Tennessee didn't exist. But then a secret was going on in this no name town. Mostly women, of 75,000, were been recruited for this special work to help the war effort. No one had idea what the secret was except unless you were higher up in the government.
The girls had no idea what kind of work it was. All they knew was what they were doing at the moment. No one was to speak about anything among the four walls. If you know anything about the Manhattan project, and Oppenheimer, and Hiroshima Japan, you don't know everything. You will learn more about the project. I did my own research and found a interesting video from the history channel talking about Oak Ridge.
Most people think everything happened in New Mexico. Not true. It started actually in Chicago, then moved to New York City, then to Oak Ridge Tennessee, and then to New Mexico. Most women still to this day, if they had anything to do with this project. Don't have any idea what they contributed, and what they did for the war effort.
he true events happened during and at the end the war. and The race to build the first atomic bomb. These women were factory worker, chemists, engineers, etc. You have to realize the time when this happened. Women were not allowed to advance themselves to be chemists, engineers, doctor's etc. Most of the women during that time had to pick another field if they were well educated. But, during WW2, The war changed everything. Women were finally allowed to work out of their homes, wear pants, etc. The men were in Europe fighting the war. That left the women at the home front to work.
This project had so many different aspects to talk about, social emotional, religious, politics.There was segregation among the Afro- Americans. They could not sleep in the same hut. There were experiments being conducted on a few Afro-American. These kinds of experiments would not happen now in 2014. There were experiments that were conducted on a few black men for the sake of science. They introduced radiation in their system, No questions asked. The patients had no idea. Just like, Henrietta Lacks. They got away with it.
My favorite part of the book was the history of the start of the atomic bomb. How they split the atoms to make the atomic bomb, by the way a Jewish woman was involved. But even at the end she did not get recognition for it. The part that was intriguing was how these women learned what they did after the bombing of Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, and their reaction. How do you think you would feel about the secret?? Can you imagine the shock and disbelieve about Hiroshima. Some of them felt guilt, shame, others were happy, because it was the end of the war.
Some of them to this day still don't know what part they played in history. Can you imagine your supervisor telling you to do something, but you don't know rhym or reason. I would be fired off the spot. I know my self, I would want to know why. I would be asking my co-workers why. I would not make it too far. The women were suppose to not allow the counter to go up a certain point. There was a competition against the women, vs. the scientists, the women won.
The social aspect was interesting in the town. Many women and men got together. They had dances. The dating and the competition of the women to get a man. There was a woman so bored, she stole the pipes that were made, and turned it into a frying pan to make biscuits. She started a little business going on with out the higher ups knowing about it.
Some women's lives changed after the war when the men came back. They continued to work out side the home. But, many women decided they still liked taking care of their husband's and children. But, this did open up more opportunities for women. These women's lives changed for ever after the war.
But the biggest thing was how did these people kept a secret? You weren't allowed to share conversation even with your co workers. There were signs everywhere, Big brother is watching.
Now with the age of computers do you really think it would be kept, hush, hush. With Facebook and other social networks. I don't think so. I think it would have leaked out. Anyone would tell for the right price....more