In this new novel from the author of The Dressmaker’s Dowry, two young women two generations apart discover the joy and heartbreak of following their dreams. Aspiring Hollywood actress Violet makes a shocking choice in 1940, and seventy years later, Mari sets out to discover what happened on that long ago summer.
Santa Cruz, Summer 1940: When auburn-haired Violet Harcourt is crowned Miss California on the boardwalk of her hometown, she knows she is one step closer to her cherished dream: a Hollywood screen test. But Violet’s victory comes with a price—discord in her seemingly perfect marriage—and she grapples with how much more she is willing to pay.
Summer 2007: Single mother Marisol Cruz lives with her parents in the charming beach cottage that belonged to her grandfather, Ricardo, once a famed performer on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Drawn to the town’s local history and the quaint gazebo where her grandparents danced beneath the stars, Mari sells raffle tickets at the Beach Boardwalk Centennial Celebration, and meets Jason, a California transplant from Chicago.
When Mari discovers the obituary of Violet Harcourt, a beauty queen who died too young, she and Jason are sent on a journey together that will uncover her grandfather’s lifelong secret—his connection to Violet—a story of tragedy and courage that will forever transform them.
This story rotates between the present and the past. It follows Marisol, a single mother, who is trying to save the historic gazebo in her home town. She uncovers an obituary about Violet Harcourt. Violet was a beauty queen who died tragically. Violet had a strong connection with Marisol’s grandfather and Marisol is determined to find out how strong!
First off…COVER LOVE! Isn’t this cover just wonderful!
There are some good and some bad about this read. I enjoyed reading about Old Hollywood. The name dropping and the old parties with the stars were so entertaining. I also enjoyed the creativity of the plot. I do not want to give anything away…but it is definitely a creative escape! Now…the bad. The author repeats several phrases over and over again in different chapters. This got on my nerves. Plus, the story also ends neatly wrapped in a perfect bow. It all just magically fit together, a little too perfectly.
Now don’t get me wrong, this is a good read and I enjoyed the characters and the setting. The mystery around Violet is super good. Her storyline is the best of the whole book. Don’t miss this old Hollywood tale!
I received this novel from Edelweiss for a honest review.