Book Review: City of Flickering Light by Juliette Fay, Published by Simon & Schuster, 16 April 2019

            Set in the roaring 1920’s in the early days of Hollywood, this intriguing tale introduces many multi-faceted and interesting characters. The main 3 include Millie, Irene, and Henry who are all aspiring to become among the famous silent movie stars in the movies or flickers, as they were commonly called during that era.

Fay masterfully relates the good, bad, and very difficult times the three friends experience throughout the book while slowly revealing the many parts of each character’s individual story. This is not to mean that the book drags on. Rather, this piece by piece revelation allows the reader to digest the new information and add it to the image of the character naturally, just as one gets to know people gradually. To be clear, the pace of the narrative is excellent, and, in fact, slows down and speeds up to match the mood of the scene whether it is joyful, tense, and at appropriate points, difficult to bear.

Speaking of challenging moments, the reader may find some scenes to be tough to get through, but I can at least promise that it is so worthwhile to carry on reading. Without giving away too much, those moments are important because they reflect the difficult times in which the story is set. More troubling is the fact that this story still rings too true today since we still have many types of prejudice, discrimination, harassment, illegal drug use, and violence.

Fay has clearly done meticulous research on the era, how the business of Hollywood was conducted during the 1920’s, how people talked, dressed, treated each other, and any other relevant details. In fact, if you are not averse to spoiling the ending of books by having more information, I highly recommend the author’s note at the end. This includes not only the author’s intention, but also what characters, buildings, etc. were perhaps based on historical facts or events.

With no reservations, I highly recommend this book to strong females, fans of Hollywood, and anyone who has experienced discrimination or hopes to pursue a career in the spotlight.

City of Flickering Light by Juliette Fay

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