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 generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**
3 "But there was always Hollywood." Stars
Kate Alcott takes us back in time to the 1940's & 1950's in the heart of McCarthyism in America showing us the effects of that movement through the eyes of a young girl with a devout Catholic mother and a father who's a Hollywood PR agent to Ingrid Bergman. Family secrets and illusions converging as a result what's happening in Hollywood with the illustrious and notorious Bergman shape the young girls beliefs through her formative years. This is a historical coming of age type story set against the alluring backdrop of Hollywood woven generously with Catholic themes and understanding.
Throughout the story I found myself enamored with the glamour of it all. The way this author chose to tell a story based on these historical events through the eyes of a daughter trying to mature responsibly was fascinating. Picking up little tidbits of fact in Alcott's words led me to some interesting google searches and learning. Her way of showcasing irony made the story relevant to happenings in our current lives. Her promotion of free thinking and holding yourself high in your opinions was refreshing. Alcott was magnanimous with her thoughts and presenting both sides of the coin as this story unfolded. However a downside to this was that I never felt wholly connected to the story as it became a bit tedious through the middle. The author told me so much but never really showed me beyond the telling. A lacking tether to the main character was a result. I sympathize with Jessica Malloy as I think I'm intended to but I wanted to feel connected to her. The other characters proved to have the same result. While I found them interesting it was in a detached sort of way. They all lent importance and substance to the story though.
The writing of Kate Alcott in the The Hollywood Daughter impressed. Her structuring of sentences and dialogue and her use of carefully chose words to make understand more was thoughtful and intelligent. I enjoyed what I learned from this book and found it interesting on a educational level rather than an emotional one. This story is more for readers of Women's, Historical, or General Fiction.