• XX Chromosomes

Review: Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner

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About Stars Over Sunset Boulevard

Los Angeles, Present Day. When an iconic hat worn by Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind ends up in Christine McAllister’s vintage clothing boutique by mistake, her efforts to return it to its owner take her on a journey more enchanting than any classic movie…

Los Angeles, 1938. Violet Mayfield sets out to reinvent herself in Hollywood after her dream of becoming a wife and mother falls apart, and lands a job on the film-set of Gone With the Wind. There, she meets enigmatic Audrey Duvall, a once-rising film star who is now a fellow secretary. Audrey’s zest for life and their adventures together among Hollywood’s glitterati enthrall Violet…until each woman’s deepest desires collide. What Audrey and Violet are willing to risk, for themselves and for each other, to ensure their own happy endings will shape their friendship, and their lives, far into the future.

My Review

I have mixed feelings on this book. I was under the impression it would be more Hollywood during its Golden Age as the summary described, and it was but minimally, I would have preferred more. The narrative focused primarily on two women, their friendship and challenges which was to be expected but not to the length Meissner provided.

The narrative was predictable, nothing was a surprise. I felt the whole Scarlet #13 could have been omitted, it was more of a nuisance than necessity including its present day companion narrative. I realize the hat triggered the parallel narrative, once again omission would not have impacted the bulk of the plot. The plot dragged on as well, became repetitive and drawn out.

Audrey and Violet didn’t appeal to me. If I had to favor one over the other I would have selected Audrey and that’s not a decision I want to make. Audrey was a complete idiot, I couldn’t believe she kept making the same mistakes over and over, frustrating. Violet was manipulative, sneaky and self-serving, nothing appealing about her at all. I had to remind myself the era was different and women had few choices, which fueled my anger towards Audrey for her trio of poor judgement, downright infuriating. Bert was the pawn, the man bait. The protagonists felt wooden, everything manufactured. I prefer female protagonists to ooze strength and confidence, these two lacked both.

The story examines friendship, choices, decisions, really nothing that hasn’t been produced before. The only interesting aspect was GWTW details, if the plot continued with the movie details, filming, stardom aspiration angle it would have been much more interesting. As is it’s a wearying generic story of two friends dealing with their friendship and secrets. Beach read, nothing more.

About Susan Meissner60390

Susan Meissner was born in San Diego, California, the second of three. She spent her childhood in just two houses.
Her first writings are a laughable collection of oddly worded poems and predictable stories she wrote when she was eight.

She attended Point Loma College in San Diego, and married her husband, Bob, who is now an associate pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, in 1980. When she is not working on a new novel, she is directing the small groups ministries at The Church at Rancho Bernardo. She also enjoy teaching workshops on writing and dream-following, spending time with my family, music, reading great books, and traveling.

Published January 5th 2016 by NAL

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