Publication Date: August 1, 2015
Publisher: Sepia Stories Publishing
Formats: eBook & Trade Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction/Biographical
A presence lurks in New York City’s New Amsterdam Theatre when the lights go down and the audience goes home. They say she’s the ghost of Olive Thomas, one of the loveliest girls who ever lit up the Ziegfeld Follies and the silent screen. From her longtime home at the theater, Ollie’s ghost tells her story from her early life in Pittsburgh to her tragic death at twenty-five.
After winning a contest for “The Most Beautiful Girl in New York,” shopgirl Ollie modeled for the most famous artists in New York, and then went on to become the toast of Broadway. When Hollywood beckoned, Ollie signed first with Triangle Pictures, and then with Myron Selznick’s new production company, becoming most well known for her work as a “baby vamp,” the precursor to the flappers of the 1920s.
After a stormy courtship, she married playboy Jack Pickford, Mary Pickford’s wastrel brother. Together they developed a reputation for drinking, club-going, wrecking cars, and fighting, along with giving each other expensive make-up gifts. Ollie’s mysterious death in Paris’ Ritz Hotel in 1920 was one of Hollywood’s first scandals, ensuring that her legend lived on.
THE FORGOTTEN FLAPPER by Laini Giles is the first book in the Forgotten Actresses series. It tells the story of Olive Thomas who started as an artist’s model and graduated to the Ziegfeld Follies and then onto the silver screen as a silent actress. She passed away at an early age, but her spirit lives on in more ways than one…
I enjoyed this book from the very first paragraph..
“This may surprise you, but I didn’t have a theatrical background when I joined the Follies. That Booth fellow who shot Lincoln? They always said he came from a “theatrical family.” Same with my Jack. But nothing for me, unless you count my brother Jim putting on a scene every time he had to eat string beans. Now that was some entertainment.”
Reading about an actress that very little is known about is interesting on its own, but when there is so much wit and hilarity in the narrative, that makes it all the more enjoyable. The story is told through Olive’s own voice who was one tough cookie and she led a crazy and fast life most of us can only imagine. I don’t think there will never be another era like early Hollywood. I wish I could have experienced it for myself! And, in a sense, I did while reading this book. Laini Giles’ research shows in each and every detail of the book, giving the reader an inside look into the life of a fascinating woman during a fascinating period in history. I’m already looking forward to the next book she writes. Really excellent book and much recommended.
*I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A native of Austin, Texas, Laini Giles grew up the daughter of bookworms, and became a Nancy Drew devotee early on. When she realized there might be no escape from hairy tarantulas and bad guys with guns, she put her detective dreams on hold and wrote about them instead, finishing her first mystery novel with custom illustrations when she was eight. It was this love of mystery combined with a love of old MGM musicals and The Marx Brothers that led her to check Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon out of the library during her formative years. Ideas began to simmer.
A graduate of the University of North Texas, she put the writing on hold for a while when real life got in the way (i.e.—she met and married her Canadian husband and headed north for maple-flavored goodies and real beer). She highly recommends moving to another country and not being able to work for a year for finishing any novels you may have laying around.
Laini and her husband live in Edmonton, Alberta with their three gray girl cats, nicknamed The Supremes.
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
Monday, August 3
Kick Off & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, August 4
Interview at The Maiden’s Court
Wednesday, August 5
Book Blast/Spotlight at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Thursday, August 6
Review at Book Nerd
Friday, August 7
Book Blast/Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Monday, August 10
Review at Book Babe
Tuesday, August 11
Book Blast/Spotlight at Room With Books
Thursday, August 13
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog
Friday, August 14
Spotlight & Giveaway at To Read, or Not to Read
Saturday, August 15
Book Blast/Spotlight at Please Pass the Books
Monday, August 17
Book Blast/Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Tuesday, August 18
Book Blast/Spotlight at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, August 19
Review at A Book Drunkard
Thursday, August 20
Spotlight & Giveaway at View From the Birdhouse
Friday, August 21
Book Blast/Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Monday, August 24
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, August 26
Review & Giveaway at Raven Haired Girl
Thursday, August 27
Book Blast/Spotlight at Svetlana’s Reads and Views