November 1, 2015 2 Comments
HarperCollins publishers says: “In this spectacular saga as radiant, thrilling, and beguiling as Hollywood itself, Adriana Trigiani takes us back to Tinsel Town’s golden age—an era as brutal as it was resplendent—and into the complex and glamorous world of a young actress hungry for fame and success. With meticulous, beautiful detail, Trigiani paints a rich, historical landscape of 1930s Los Angeles, where European and American artisans flocked to pursue the ultimate dream: to tell stories on the silver screen.
The movie business is booming in 1935 when twenty-one-year-old Loretta Young meets thirty-four-year-old Clark Gable on the set of The Call of the Wild. Though he’s already married, Gable falls for the stunning and vivacious young actress instantly.
Far from the glittering lights of Hollywood, Sister Alda Ducci has been forced to leave her convent and begin a new journey that leads her to Loretta. Becoming Miss Young’s secretary, the innocent and pious young Alda must navigate the wild terrain of Hollywood with fierce determination and a moral code that derives from her Italian roots. Over the course of decades, she and Loretta encounter scandal and adventure, choose love and passion, and forge an enduring bond of love and loyalty that will be put to the test when they eventually face the greatest obstacle of their lives.
Anchored by Trigiani’s masterful storytelling that takes you on a worldwide ride of adventure from Hollywood to the shores of southern Italy, this mesmerizing epic is, at its heart, a luminous tale of the most cherished ties that bind. Brimming with larger-than-life characters both real and fictional—including stars Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy, David Niven, Hattie McDaniel and more—it is it is the unforgettable story of one of cinema’s greatest love affairs during the golden age of American movie making.”
All the Stars in the Heavens: What I thought
I don’t care much about famous people, Hollywood, and especially not famous people in a Hollywood in the past. But I do care about Adriana Trigiani’s books. I have read ten or so and loved most of them, although I should admit that I loved her earlier novels better than her later ones.
Even keeping in mind that I’m not one for Hollywood stories, this one didn’t interest me much for another reason: there was hardly a story to speak of and there wasn’t really one main character to love and be worried about. So, the several characters that this book was about became older and fell in and out of love, got married and divorced, had children or not. Nothing to write home about, if you ask me. So it involved some famous names? Before my time, and before that of most readers. Yes, I have heard of them but they are so far before my time that they interest me even less than contemporary celebrities.
The story was OK – I did finish the novel, so it wasn’t that bad. However, it wasn’t that great either. There was nothing to keep me wondering what would happen next; only at around the two-thirds mark, it became somewhat interesting, but that was a bit late!
I guess if you’re a Trigiani fan, like me, you’ll want to read it. Or if you’re really into old movies.
Rating: 3 (out of 5)
Number of pages: 464
First published: 2015
I got this book: from the publisher for an honest review
Extra: Other books by Trigiani I read: Big Stone Gap, Big Cherry Holler, Milk Glass Moon, Home to Big Stone Gap, The Surpreme Macaroni Company, The Shoemaker’s Wife, Lucia, Lucia, The Queen of the Big Time, Don’t Sing at the Table, Rococo