ABOUT THE BOOK:
It’s the Roaring Twenties and seventeen-year-old Harlean Carpenter McGrew has run off to Beverly Hills. She’s chasing a dream;to escape her small, Midwestern life and see her name in lights.In California, Harlean has everything a girl could want;a rich husband, glamorous parties, socialite friends;except an outlet for her talent. But everything changes when a dare pushes her to embrace her true ambition :to be an actress on the silver screen. With her timeless beauty and striking shade of platinum-blond hair, Harlean becomes Jean Harlow. And as she’s thrust into the limelight, Jean learns that this new world of opportunity comes with its own set of burdens. Torn between her family and her passion to perform, Jean is forced to confront the difficult truth;that fame comes at a price, if only she’s willing to pay it. Amid a glittering cast of ingenues and Hollywood titans: Clara Bow, Clark Gable, Laurel and Hardy, Howard Hughes, Platinum Doll introduces us to the star who would shine brighter than them all.
Hollywood’s Golden Age has long been one of my passions. I’d rather watch a movie made in the 30s or 40s than a modern one. There is just something about the glamour of the stars that is very alluring to me. In PLATINUM DOLL, author Anne Girard tells the story of young Harlean Carpenter McGrew, who, perhaps, had the most allure of them all. She was a simple girl who wanted simple things like love, a husband, and a house to share with him. But, her life took on a life of its own and whether it was the glitz of Hollywood that drew her there or her mother who pushed her there, she became a star like no other.
This book is a real gem. Anne Girard breathed life into Harlean and the people around her giving the reader a real sense of what her life may have been like. She stayed true to the language of the era which made the experience I had reading the book even more special. I especially enjoyed how she incorporated other well known stars into the story – especially Clark Gable! I wish there’d been more of him 🙂 She was really able to portray how Harlean struggled to keep her marriage together while trying to please her mother and step-father and how it affected her. It was these small things that made the book a pleasure to read. My only complaint would be the ending. I really wanted it to continue up until her death. Book two, perhaps?
With a realistic look at Hollywood during its early days and the young ingenue who stole the hearts of everyone that knew her on screen and off, I give PLATINUM DOLL 4 stars ****.
*Many thanks to Anne Girard who sent me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*