The It Girl and Me: A Novel of Clara Bow by Laini Giles
Publication Date: March 25, 2017
Sepia Stories Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 341 Pages
Series: Forgotten Actresses, Book #2
Gere: Historical Fiction/Biographical
Daisy DeVoe has left her abusive husband, her father has been pinched for bootlegging, and she’s embarrassed by her rural Kentucky roots. But on the plus side, she’s climbing the ladder in the salon of Paramount Pictures, styling hair for actress Clara Bow.
Clara is a handful. The “It” Girl of the Jazz Age personifies the new woman of the 1920s onscreen, smoking, drinking bootleg hooch, and bursting with sex appeal. But her conduct off the set is even more scandalous. Hoping to impose a little order on Clara’s chaotic life, Paramount persuades Daisy to sign on as Clara’s personal secretary.
Thanks to Daisy, Clara’s bank account is soon flush with cash. And thanks to Clara, Daisy can finally shake off her embarrassing past and achieve respectability for herself and her family.
The trouble begins when Clara’s newest fiancé, cowboy star Rex Bell, wants to take over, and he and Daisy battle for control. Torn between her loyalty to Clara and her love for her family, Daisy has to make a difficult choice when she ends up in the county jail.
Here, Daisy sets the record straight, from her poverty-stricken childhood to her failed marriage; from a father in San Quentin to her rollercoaster time with Clara, leaving out none of the juicy details.
The Jazz Age. Classic Hollywood. Clara Bow.
These words, or any combination thereof, make any book a must read for me. I have long been enthralled with the glamour of the 1920s and of how women began to change and become more in charge of themselves. If I could go back and live in any era, this would probably be the one. I totally would have been a suffragette.
This book, as with the first book in the author’s Forgotten Actresses series, had me entertained from the very start. Her characters are smart and witty and tough. Daisy DeVoe didn’t have an easy start, but she made it work and pushed through her poverty only to become the personal secretary to none other than Clara Bow, Hollywood’s “It” girl.
Laini Giles writes the absolute best books I’ve read set during this era. Painstaking research is apparent in each word and the reader is transported to a world we can only dream of. The tale is told through Daisy which gives us a chance to see deeply into the lives of both of these women. I hadn’t heard of Daisy before and was thrilled to learn that her story is true. I was enchanted from the start and couldn’t wait to see how it all ended, yet I did not want it to end. Excellent book and must read for anyone who is a fan of Old Hollywood.
About the Author
Originally from the counterculture mecca of Austin, Texas, Laini discovered a love of reading early on, and when she was eight, decided to be Nancy Drew. This dream was dashed when she realized she was actually a big chicken, and that there were no guarantees of rescue from tarantulas, bad guys with guns, and other fiendish plot twists. She finished her first “mystery novel” (with custom illustrations) when she was nine.
She set the writing aside for a while when life got in the way, but was led back to it through her interest in genealogy and 18 months of enforced unemployment due to moving north for maple-flavored goodies and real beer. Reading old microfilm stirred new life into her interest in writing, and watching early silent films struck the match.
Like most other writers, most of her monthly budget is spent on coffee and books. She lives with her husband and their two gray cats in Edmonton, Alberta.
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