2015: A Touch of Stardust

"Atlanta was exploding right on schedule."

A Touch of Stardust, Kate Alcott

Another frankly disappointing novel.  This novel had the opposite problem of A Reunion of Ghosts - if that was all good writing and troublesome plot, this one has a humdinger concept but the writing just can't make it work.  Seriously, the characters here were so paper thin, I thought, jeez, I could write a better book.  Maybe I should try!

It's the story of Julie Crawford, who leaves her staid life in Fort Wayne, Indiana to try to make in in Hollywood - as a scriptwriter, which is at least a change of pace.  She ends up on the MGM lot as they are filming Gone With the Wind, and gets a job for Carole Lombard as a personal assistant.  And falls in love with a Jewish Assistant Director.  So we have 1) the making of a classic movie, 2) famous Hollywood stars in love (Lombard was married to Clark Gable), 3) trying to make in it in Hollywood, 4) trying to make a romance work, and 5) due to the time, some Holocaust stuff.  All that is pretty good, and I can see that it makes a killer plot treatment.  But the book itself - woof.  Not one single character seems like a real human being who is actually feeling emotion instead of living in a book - and this is particularly true of Gable & Lombard.  And if you are going to write about real people and not make them seem particularly real, what's the point? I'd rather watch My Man Godfrey or It Happened One Night.  It's a shame - Alcott was married  to  Frank Mankiewicz and his father even cameos, so she had access to behind the scenes Hollywood, which is nice color.  But since the characters are paper thin, the book ultimately goes nowhere.  

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017