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City of Flickering Light

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Juliette Fay—“one of the best authors of women’s fiction” (Library Journal)—transports us back to the Golden Age of Hollywood and the raucous Roaring Twenties, as three friends struggle to earn their places among the stars of the silent screen—perfect for fans of La La Land and Rules of Civility.

It’s July 1921, “flickers” are all the rage, and Irene Van Beck has just decl
ebook, 400 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by Gallery Books
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4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  138 ratings  ·  105 reviews

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Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In July 1921, burlesque dancers Irene Van Beck and Millie Martin, and the burlesque comedian Henry Weiss jump off a moving train as their first step of escaping the clutches of their burlesque show boss and making their way to Hollywood for their chance at hitting it big in Tinseltown. Having barely survived life in a burlesque, making no money, getting little food, and risking beatings from the boss, on the scalp, to prevent bruises showing on their bodies while stripping, Irene and Millie had ...more
Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)

The premise for this book was intriguing; a look at the world of the early “flickers” and the flood of young men and women to Hollywood to try to make their way as actors. As in all things in life, things are not always as they appear, this too is the case in Hollywoodland, as it was called then.

Our journey to old Hollywood starts when three friends, Irene Van Beck, Millie Martin and Henry Weiss, jump from a moving train! They had been part of a traveling burlesque show and w
3.5 Stars. Review to follow.
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
To be reviewed over at Fresh Fiction!
Karen Kay
I received this from in exchange for a review.

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.

Lots of 1920's movie references and historical happenings, easy and fairly quick read with
Laura//lauralovestoread Gelinas
I really liked The City of Flickering Light. As a fan of historical fiction, I loved the old Hollywood storyline and it was reminiscent of The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin which I enjoyed. I was immersed in the lives of Irene, Millie, and Henry, and how their friendship got them through hard times of poverty, pain, and heartache. I love a good story with a strong friendship theme.
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
🎥Oh, how I enjoyed reading this book! The glitz! The glam! Hollywood in the 1920’s! 🎥

It’s the Roaring Twenties, and “flickers” are all the rage. Three friends, stuck in a bad situation, plot their way out and make a break for Hollywood. These friends support one another as they try to make their way in Tinseltown, yearning for their big breaks.

I loved the old glam. I loved the history of early Hollywood. I was reading this on my lunch break at school and when the bell rang, I had to get my bear
Beth Cato
I received an early reviewer copy through Netgalley.

I've been reading a lot of nonfiction and fiction Hollywood through this period, so I was excited to read this book. The story is a solid one as it follows three escapees from an abusive burlesque show--Irene, Millie, and Henry--as they venture to Hollywood to try and make their dreams come true. Really, this novel is great for readers with only a vague understanding of silent film Hollywood, as it details the brutal process of trying to bust i
Tina Woodbury
I recently discovered a love for historical fiction stories that center on the 1920’s and the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. City of Flickering Light is a story about three friends who want the Hollywood dream and will not stop until they achieve it!

Irene, Millie, and Henry have had enough of the traveling burlesque show they are working for. While pulling out of the train station to their next destination they quite literally jump off the train. Wow! How was that for a start?!

This story starte
Jena Henry
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What’s your favorite movie? I can’t wait to see his latest film. Hollywood…Tinseltown…dream factory…La La Land… dazzling phrases that conjure dreams of glamour, sophistication, power and beauty. Movie, and movie stars have captivated us for well over 100 years now. What was it like back in the early days of Hollywood, back in the silent film era?

According to Author Juliette Fay, life in Hollywood hasn’t changed too much. Prohibition is over, but the cars are still shiny, the stars are still glit
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I've found a new go to author! This book is another great read from the author of the Tumbling Turner Sisters. It is a delightful tale with a great cast of characters that is set in the early days of the making of silent movies in Hollywood. Like her prior book, each chapter opens with a wonderful quote from a Hollywood legend that foreshadows the issues exposed in the forthcoming chapter. It was entertaining, interesting and as would be expected rather disturbing at times, to read about that er ...more
Allie Larkin
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I have to confess that I took ages to finish this book because I didn't want to face the idea of saying goodbye to these characters. Old Hollywood makes for a thrilling, fascinating backdrop and this book feels like a grand adventure! The heart and soul of these characters makes the book truly special. I fell madly in love with Irene, Millie, and Henry, and didn't want to let them go. Juliette Fay did an incredible job creating endearing people who love and struggle in authentic ways. I know I'l ...more
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had the great good luck to read CITY OF FLICKERING LIGHT early on--what a fantastic ride. Early Hollywood was filled with extraordinary stories & author Fay captures three enmeshed figures--from the faint beginnings of 'I wanna be a star' to the different paths taken. I absolutely loved this page-turning novel.
Lynne Lambdin
The 1920's are such an iconic time in American History. This is the decade of flappers, flickers and Fitzgerald. But that is just the teasing tip, this Jazz-Age era brought forth new social and art movements like the Harlem Renaissance. It brought forth an elusive world of speakeasies that somehow made prohibition seem glamorous. I've sought out many novels from this era since it is such a dreamy time, but I have never dived into the Hollywood element. And this novel was the perfect introduction ...more
Kandice Miles
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I won an advanced uncorrected proof of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. This is my honest review of this book.

Let me just say, this book was nothing like what I was expecting and I was pleasantly surprised! Based in the 1920s, this is a story of a young lady, Irene, and her two friends, Henry and Millie, who try to make something of their lives in a very young Hollywood.

The story starts with them jumping off a moving train on the run from the traveling burlesque show they were in, and trying
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a resident of southern California, I have a particular interest and affinity for novels featuring this part of the country. Juliette Fay has written a page-turner of a historical novel set in the Hollywood of at the early 1920's. The book engaged me because of the strength of its characters and seemingly effortless descriptions of the residences, restaurants, work scenes and "playgrounds" of the period.

Although early Hollywood is the star of this book, Fay's three protagonists bring warmth, d
This was just an all-around enjoyable read. The main characters were very likable people and even though it may have been a bit predictable, it was still a very engaging story.

Irene, Millie and Henry each have a background that they feel the need to run away from. They form a make-shift family after making a daring escape from a traveling burlesque show. When they get to Hollywood, they help each other until they each find jobs.

Even after they each begin to experience some success with their car
Kim McGee
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beginning of a little village called Hollywood in the 1920s was a place where dreams became reality or for some, a real nightmare.
Three unlikely traveling companions jump a train to escape the evil world of vaudeville and a burlesque show to begin what they feel is their destiny - the movies. For Irene, it offers a chance to discover her writing talents, for Henry, it is an awareness of who he really is and for poor lost Millie, it is a chance to find love and attention from any source. This
Joan Happel
It’s 1921 and the Golden Age of Hollywood when three friends, fleeing from an abusive burlesque show owner, jump from a train and head to Tinsel-town to seek fame and fortune. Irene Van Beck, Millie Martin and Henry Weiss pool money and talents in order to make their dreams come true. The trio faces many obstacles along the way including the famous casting couches, anti-Semitism, rampant drug abuse and having to hide one’s sexuality.

Despite a fairly predictable plot, this is still a well-resear
Debi Hawkes
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
City of Flickering Light by Juliette Fay is one of the best, most enjoyable historical fiction novels I have read.

The three main characters, while completely fictional, are so well drawn, so real seeming, that I had to Google them just to double check! All three were so engaging, I felt as if I knew them.

Many supporting characters are based on well known members of the Silent Movie Era. The locales are accurate to the time, many of which are still present today.

I recommend this book to all, I'm
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Juliette Fay’s CITY OF FLICKERING LIGHT is a delicious, addictive read, transporting readers to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Fay tells the fascinating story of three friends struggling to find stardom on the silent screen. Navigating their way among the glitz and glamour, temptation and heartbreak, Millie, Henry and Irene learn that friendship is what will sustain and save them. A fabulous read!
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book about the silent film era that was well researched.
I enjoyed the history of Hollywood in the 20’s..
thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me review this book
Shannon Dyer
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, arc
Round up to 4.5 stars. Review to come at AAR.
Kimberly Mussell
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a few Juliette Fay novels on my TBR list. This is the first of hers that I have read, Reading just the small blurb about this novel, pulled at my interest. I was not 100% as to the story line, but I can say I was satisfied and enjoyed every word!
A story of three friends who are learning together and also learning about themselves. Set in a time when so many things are new and terrifying at the same time. This one tugged at my heartstrings. I am looking forward to reading more from Ms. Fa
Bonnye Reed
pub date April 16, 2019
Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books
Feb 27, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't terrible, it's just boring and predictable and uses a lot of cliches. The characters are cardboard. In the mid-1920s, three white folks--responsible, clever Irene, dim, cuddly MIllie, and handsome, gay Henry--go to Hollywood to become stars. Along the way, of course, there is sexism and a rape and gay-bashing and the perils of heroin addiction, but then everyone is spotted as the talents they are and get jobs they like! Irene becomes a writer, Millie becomes an actress and then a moth ...more
ReadingGirlReviews (Gina)
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019

3.5 stars (I rounded up for goodreads)

City of Flickering Light is a tantalizing ride back to the 1920’s Hollywood and the booming silent film industry. It follows 3 characters as they escape a moving train and their stagnant careers in a burlesque show, finding their way to Hollywood in hopes of making it big. Irene, Millie and Henry are bright eyed and optimistic when they land at their destination, but they are not prepared for the hardship, destitution, starvation and shortage of work t
Millie, Irene and Henry have been working the Burlesque circuit and have tired of the constant traveling, poor pay and an abusive boss. The story actually starts with them bailing out and jumping from a moving train – so apparently anything is better than staying! Arriving in Hollywood, they find a boarding house – but need to earn money for rooms to let. Henry was the first to get a job – he’s picked out of the crowd sitting outside the studio gates to be an extra. Irene, with her skill as a ty ...more
Laura Hill
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Writing: 3/5 Characters: 3.5/5 Plot: 4/5 Historical setting: 5/5

A great story! It grabs you from the first page and won’t allow itself to be put down. It’s a fascinating piece of historical fiction taking place in Hollywood during the Silent Era (1890s - 1920s). The history comes to life through the experiences of our three main characters: Irene Van Beck, Millie Martin, and Henry Weiss. In the opening scene, the three jump off a moving train to escape their current employer — the Burlesque comp
Julie Failla Earhart
Absolutely. Loved. This. Book!

I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for novels about Old Hollywood. Just love ‘em. And Juliette Fay’s new historical gem, “City of Flickering Light” is no exception. I don’t believe it’s too early to prognosticate that this will be the beach read of the 2019 season.

Irene, Millie and Henry all work for the same burlesque troupe. They are not-quite-friends but more than acquaintances. Irene is the seasoned veteran, having once been part of a sister-act with her twin, Ivy. Mil
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Juliette Fay is the author of THE TUMBLING TURNER SISTERS, a USA Today bestseller and Costco Pennie’s Book Club Pick. Previous novels include THE SHORTEST WAY HOME, one of Library Journal‘s Top 5 Best Books of 2012: Women’s Fiction; DEEP DOWN TRUE, short-listed for the Women’s Fiction award by the American Library Association; and SHELTER ME, an Indie Next pick and Massachusetts Book Award “Must-R ...more