City of Flickering Light
Juliette Fay—“one of the best authors of women’s fiction” (Library Journal)—transports us back to the Golden Age of Hollywood and the raucous Roaring Twenties, as three friends struggle to earn their places among the stars of the silent screen—perfect for fans of La La Land and Rules of Civility. It’s July 1921, “flickers” are all the rage, and Irene Van Beck has just declared her own independence by jumping off a moving train to escape her fate in a traveling burlesque show. When her friends, fellow dancer Millie Martin and comedian Henry Weiss, leap after her, the trio finds their way to the bright lights of Hollywood with hopes of making it big in the burgeoning silent film industry.At first glance, Hollywood in the 1920s is like no other place on earth—iridescent, scandalous, and utterly exhilarating—and the three friends yearn for a life they could only have dreamed of before. But despite the glamour and seduction of Tinseltown, success doesn’t come easy, and nothing can prepare Irene, Millie, and Henry for the poverty, temptation, and heartbreak that lie ahead. With their ambitions challenged by both the men above them and the prejudice surrounding them, their friendship is the only constant through desperate times, as each struggles to find their true calling in an uncertain world. What begins as a quest for fame and fortune soon becomes a collective search for love, acceptance, and fulfillment as they navigate the backlots and stage sets where the illusions of the silver screen are brought to life.With her “trademark wit and grace” (Randy Susan Meyers, author of The Murderer’s Daughters), Juliette Fay crafts another radiant and fascinating historical novel as thrilling as the bygone era of Hollywood itself.

City of Flickering Light Details

TitleCity of Flickering Light
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 16th, 2019
PublisherGallery Books
ISBN-139781501192944
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction

City of Flickering Light Review

  • Dorie - Traveling Sister :)
    January 1, 1970
    ***NOW AVAILABLE***The premise for this book was intriguing; a look at the world of the early “flickers” and the flood of young men and women to Hollywood to try to make their way as actors. As in all things in life, things are not always as they appear, this too is the case in Hollywoodland, as it was called then.Our journey to old Hollywood starts when three friends, Irene Van Beck, Millie Martin and Henry Weiss, jump from a moving train! They had been part of a traveling burlesque show and w ***NOW AVAILABLE***The premise for this book was intriguing; a look at the world of the early “flickers” and the flood of young men and women to Hollywood to try to make their way as actors. As in all things in life, things are not always as they appear, this too is the case in Hollywoodland, as it was called then.Our journey to old Hollywood starts when three friends, Irene Van Beck, Millie Martin and Henry Weiss, jump from a moving train! They had been part of a traveling burlesque show and were tired of the constant traveling and the very cold hearted man who ran the show, paid then little and was abusive. All three start to sit outside the studio lots day after day, hoping for a casting call for extras. Henry, with his handsome good looks, is the first to find a job as an extra and helps to pay for the “boarding houses where they stay. Room and board is expensive and there are always those out there who are more than ready to cram up to six girls in a room and serve them cabbage soup at almost every meal.Irene is the next to find a job, but as a typist. Luckily for her she had this skill and it will eventually lead her into re-writing scripts and early manuscripts for playwrights. The reader will discover whether she will indeed end up writing a script that someone will pay her for.Millie is a sweet, beautiful, but incredibly naive young woman who finds herself being “taken advantage of” by a hateful, bullying, director, and even falls prey to drug use. Irene and Henry constantly feel the need to take care of Millie as she tries to find a way to make a living.The book shines a light on so many things about early Hollywood. There is the abuse of young starlets, homophobia, anti-semitism and drug use. Heroin at this time was easily available and even thought not to be addictive as morphine. My problem with this book was that there were really no surprises. Everything that I thought would happen to these characters, did happen. The plot was predictable as were the actions of the characters in many instances. I also have read other books about this time so there wasn’t much new here for me.What I did enjoy was the author’s use of quotes from actors and others in the movie business. Here is one I particularly enjoyed “There are five stages in the life of an actor: Who is Mary Astor? Get me Mary Astor. Get me a Mary Astor type. Get me a young Mary Astor. Who’s Mary Astor? “This is a well written enjoyable read, particularly if you haven’t read anything about this era before.I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss.
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  • marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    In July 1921, burlesque dancers Irene Van Beck and Millie Martin, and the burlesque comedian Henry Weiss jump off a moving train as their first step of escaping the clutches of their burlesque show boss and making their way to Hollywood for their chance at hitting it big in Tinseltown. Having barely survived life in a burlesque, making no money, getting little food, and risking beatings from the boss, on the scalp, to prevent bruises showing on their bodies while stripping, Irene and Millie had In July 1921, burlesque dancers Irene Van Beck and Millie Martin, and the burlesque comedian Henry Weiss jump off a moving train as their first step of escaping the clutches of their burlesque show boss and making their way to Hollywood for their chance at hitting it big in Tinseltown. Having barely survived life in a burlesque, making no money, getting little food, and risking beatings from the boss, on the scalp, to prevent bruises showing on their bodies while stripping, Irene and Millie had no where further down to go than to become prostitutes. Irene was going to leave by herself but Millie reminded her of her late sister so she was taking her with her and this was their chance to escape the horrid life they were living. Henry realized they were getting ready to jump off the train and followed them since he considered them his only friends. Together this trio becomes a "family" of sorts, looking out for each other and sharing whatever they had, in a chance for them to all survive and thrive in Hollywood. With the town overflowing with other hopefuls ready to do anything for a job or any kind of break, they face a life of continued poverty and rejection. A person has to stand out in Hollywood to get anywhere and even then there are hundreds more standing in line behind you if you make a misstep. I enjoyed reading how this trio used their looks, imagination, and wits to finagle jobs and later better living quarters, as they worked their way into writing for or acting in silent pictures. I liked the characters of Irene, Millie, and Henry and especially liked their loyalty to each other, not allowing one to continue to suffer when another of them began earning money and the security of a job. That security could change in a second though due to prejudges so prevalent in that time. I grew up watching black and white old westerns, some barely into the talkie stage and have probably seen most of them that were on TV over the decades. There is so much history of early movie making, during the time that silent movies were on the verge of becoming talking movies and this book name drops so many names that I remember reading about over the years. Each chapter starts with a quote from famous Hollywood names and I could probably read a book of just quotes and enjoy it, but in this book we get to learn what is behind the quotes, how things really were, under the fake glamour and glitz of the silver screen. Thank you Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books and NetGalley for this ARC.
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    January 1, 1970
    Irene Van Beck has had enough of working for a traveling burlesque show. She has a plan, and together with fellow dancer Millie Martin, she is ready to start a new life. Tagging along with them is comedian Henry Weiss, and soon they are off to Hollywood on the next train. However, there it is one thing to dream about finding fame in Hollywood; it's a different thing in real life. Just finding a paying job is hard enough, but Irene, Millie, and Henry won't give up, and they have each other to rel Irene Van Beck has had enough of working for a traveling burlesque show. She has a plan, and together with fellow dancer Millie Martin, she is ready to start a new life. Tagging along with them is comedian Henry Weiss, and soon they are off to Hollywood on the next train. However, there it is one thing to dream about finding fame in Hollywood; it's a different thing in real life. Just finding a paying job is hard enough, but Irene, Millie, and Henry won't give up, and they have each other to rely on.READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!
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  • Cindy Burnett
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsJuliette Fay’s new novel about Golden Age Hollywood is a gem from start to finish. Fay clearly did her research and includes cameos from a variety of famous silent film stars and others involved in the early “flickers” business. I highly, highly recommend this novel especially if you love this era in Hollywood.
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  • ❀⊱RoryReads⊰❀
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars. Review to follow.
  • Juli
    January 1, 1970
    It all starts in 1921 when Irene Van Beck and her two friends, Millie and Henry, jump from a moving train. They were tired of life with a travelling burlesque show...low pay, abuse, constant moving around. The three friends find their way to Hollywood, dreaming of a new life acting in "flickers.'' Turns out, Hollywood glamour is an illusion hiding a seedy underside. The friends experience hunger, disappointment, and loss while trying to make it big in tinseltown.I love tales of Old Hollywood, so It all starts in 1921 when Irene Van Beck and her two friends, Millie and Henry, jump from a moving train. They were tired of life with a travelling burlesque show...low pay, abuse, constant moving around. The three friends find their way to Hollywood, dreaming of a new life acting in "flickers.'' Turns out, Hollywood glamour is an illusion hiding a seedy underside. The friends experience hunger, disappointment, and loss while trying to make it big in tinseltown.I love tales of Old Hollywood, so jumped on the chance to read an early copy of this book by Juliette Fay. So many hopefuls have gone to Hollywood in the past 100 years....only to learn that competition is killer and the lifestyle is a soul-sucking experience. Many seek the glamour and fame...but few ever find it. These three friends experience so much together after jumping off that train...and the story is mesmerizing. It's like a peek behind the curtain into the dark shadows behind the glamour of Old Hollywood. Once I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down!!This is the first book by Juliette Fay that I've read. I've added her book about the Vaudeville era, The Tumbling Turner Sisters, to my TBR stack! **I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Gallery Books via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
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  • Katharine
    January 1, 1970
    When I first received this book I set it aside, thinking it wasn't for me, but after Allie Larkin "pressed it into my hands" (as the hosts of Currently Reading would say), I decided to give it a try. And I'm SO glad I did! It might be the book that finally convinces me historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine.I was immediately captured by the glitter of 1920s Hollywood and was totally absorbed by the story of these three friends. It's somewhat predictable, but I found comfort in that and When I first received this book I set it aside, thinking it wasn't for me, but after Allie Larkin "pressed it into my hands" (as the hosts of Currently Reading would say), I decided to give it a try. And I'm SO glad I did! It might be the book that finally convinces me historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine.I was immediately captured by the glitter of 1920s Hollywood and was totally absorbed by the story of these three friends. It's somewhat predictable, but I found comfort in that and thoroughly enjoyed just being along for the ride. Millie, Henry, and Irene will stick with my for a long time.Thank you to Gallery for my copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    🎥Oh, how I enjoyed reading this book! The glitz! The glam! Hollywood in the 1920’s! 🎥It’s the Roaring Twenties, and “flickers” are all the rage. Three friends, stuck in a bad situation, plot their way out and make a break for Hollywood. These friends support one another as they try to make their way in Tinseltown, yearning for their big breaks. I loved the old glam. I loved the history of early Hollywood. I was reading this on my lunch break at school and when the bell rang, I had to get my bear 🎥Oh, how I enjoyed reading this book! The glitz! The glam! Hollywood in the 1920’s! 🎥⁣⁣⁣⁣It’s the Roaring Twenties, and “flickers” are all the rage. Three friends, stuck in a bad situation, plot their way out and make a break for Hollywood. These friends support one another as they try to make their way in Tinseltown, yearning for their big breaks. ⁣⁣⁣⁣I loved the old glam. I loved the history of early Hollywood. I was reading this on my lunch break at school and when the bell rang, I had to get my bearings because I was so caught up in the time period. I love a good underdog story and there were plenty here to root for. A beautiful story of friendship and quest for fame, set in a remarkable time period. Thank you @gallerybooks for this advance reader in exchange for my honest review!⁣⁣
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  • Laura//lauralovestoread Gelinas
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked The City of Flickering Light. As a fan of historical fiction, I loved the old Hollywood storyline and it was reminiscent of The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin which I enjoyed. I was immersed in the lives of Irene, Millie, and Henry, and how their friendship got them through hard times of poverty, pain, and heartache. I love a good story with a strong friendship theme.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Star Rating: 2.5 StarsFor a book that is 400 pages, it took me a little more than 2 weeks to finish it. Which is never a good sign.This book was huge disappointment for me. Not because its a bad book because its not. Its well written and well researched, but ultimately, I could not connect with this.In theory, this book should have been a slam dunk for me. 1. I've read this author before and I really enjoyed that book. I read The Tumbling Turner Sisters back in 2016 and it remains one of my fa Star Rating: 2.5 StarsFor a book that is 400 pages, it took me a little more than 2 weeks to finish it. Which is never a good sign.This book was huge disappointment for me. Not because its a bad book because its not. Its well written and well researched, but ultimately, I could not connect with this.In theory, this book should have been a slam dunk for me. 1. I've read this author before and I really enjoyed that book. I read The Tumbling Turner Sisters back in 2016 and it remains one of my favorite books. 2. Its about old Hollywood... WHO AMONG US DOES NOT LOVE OLD HOLLYWOOD GOSSIP?!Alas, if I had a nickel for each time a book, in theory, should have blown me away but didn't -I'd have a lot of nickels. What is it about: In July 1920, 3 friends Irene Van Beck, Millie Martin, and Henry Weiss make a break from their life in a traveling burlesque show to take a chance making it in Hollywood. At the same time, Hollywood in the 1920s is iridescent, scandalous, and utterly exhilarating—and the three friends yearn for a life they could only have dreamed of before. But despite the glamour of Tinseltown, success doesn’t come easy, and nothing can prepare Irene, Millie, and Henry for the poverty, temptation, and heartbreak that lie ahead.What Didn't Work: I liked the idea of the story - Old Hollywood and gossip. But unfortunately, I just didn't care about anything that was going on. I liked the characters fine. But I couldn't connect with any of them. I need to connect with the characters of a book to really enjoy it. I can appreciated a well written and well researched book (which this absolutely is), but if I can't wait to get to at least one of the character's stories then... What is there for me?I also found the tie in with her previous The Tumbling Turner Sisters to be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the character I really connected with on that one was not the one we follow. I like the format of including a quote from a famous player of the time at the beginning of the chapters to be a fun little detail to include. I love quotes and it was a fun opportunity to look up old Hollywood starlets and power players to see who is who.You know, until it completely spoils what is happening in the story, which takes a lot of the anticipation out of it. Why carry on when I already know what's going to go down?Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
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  • Karen Kay
    January 1, 1970
    I received this from Netgalley.com in exchange for a review. Irene Van Beck has just declared her own independence by jumping off a moving train to escape her fate in a traveling burlesque show. When her friends, fellow dancer Millie Martin and comedian Henry Weiss, leap after her, the trio finds their way to the bright lights of Hollywood with hopes of making it big in the burgeoning silent film industry.Lots of 1920's movie references and historical happenings, easy and fairly quick read with I received this from Netgalley.com in exchange for a review. Irene Van Beck has just declared her own independence by jumping off a moving train to escape her fate in a traveling burlesque show. When her friends, fellow dancer Millie Martin and comedian Henry Weiss, leap after her, the trio finds their way to the bright lights of Hollywood with hopes of making it big in the burgeoning silent film industry.Lots of 1920's movie references and historical happenings, easy and fairly quick read with a nice feel-good ending.3.5 rounded up to 4 stars
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  • Faith
    January 1, 1970
    Very soapy story and crams in too many issues - rape, racism, antisemitism, unwanted pregnancy, homosexuality, drugs and murder. Amazingly, in a very short time each of the protagonists became very successful. These people packed a lot into a year.
  • Beth Cato
    January 1, 1970
    I received an early reviewer copy through Netgalley.I've been reading a lot of nonfiction and fiction Hollywood through this period, so I was excited to read this book. The story is a solid one as it follows three escapees from an abusive burlesque show--Irene, Millie, and Henry--as they venture to Hollywood to try and make their dreams come true. Really, this novel is great for readers with only a vague understanding of silent film Hollywood, as it details the brutal process of trying to bust i I received an early reviewer copy through Netgalley.I've been reading a lot of nonfiction and fiction Hollywood through this period, so I was excited to read this book. The story is a solid one as it follows three escapees from an abusive burlesque show--Irene, Millie, and Henry--as they venture to Hollywood to try and make their dreams come true. Really, this novel is great for readers with only a vague understanding of silent film Hollywood, as it details the brutal process of trying to bust into movies, how movies were written and filmed, the rampant drug availability and abuse of the time, and more, all through the eyes of three easy-to-relate-characters. The book also handles many sensitive issues quite well, such as sex, pregnancy, and homosexuality in Hollywood.My issues with the book came down to... well, having already read too much on the period. Indeed, the author's note in the back recommended several books I've read in recent months. As soon as I realized that one of the minor characters resembled the real life figure of William Desmond Taylor, that gave away a huge chunk of the plot for me. That jolted me at points where I expected the book to more closely follow actual history. There are several characters blatantly based on real historical figures, and I kind of wish the real people had been able to represent themselves instead. This was particularly true of the character based on Frances Marion--who, I confess, I greatly admire. I recommend this book to historical fiction readers who would like to read more about early Hollywood. (And if you want another recent book set in the same period, look up Melanie Benjamin's The Girls in the Picture.)
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  • Tina Woodbury
    January 1, 1970
    I recently discovered a love for historical fiction stories that center on the 1920’s and the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. City of Flickering Light is a story about three friends who want the Hollywood dream and will not stop until they achieve it!Irene, Millie, and Henry have had enough of the traveling burlesque show they are working for. While pulling out of the train station to their next destination they quite literally jump off the train. Wow! How was that for a start?!This story starte I recently discovered a love for historical fiction stories that center on the 1920’s and the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. City of Flickering Light is a story about three friends who want the Hollywood dream and will not stop until they achieve it!Irene, Millie, and Henry have had enough of the traveling burlesque show they are working for. While pulling out of the train station to their next destination they quite literally jump off the train. Wow! How was that for a start?!This story started off really strong! Irene, Millie, and Henry were determined to make it to Hollywood and become big stars. They only had what they could carry and very little money. But they had each other, a dream, and that was all they needed.We follow the journey of these three friends and their search for stardom. They each traveled their own path while weathering the ups and downs life threw at them. There was romance, heart-break, and self-discovery, but through it all they always had each other.I am fascinated with this time period and it always amazes me how far we have come in the past 100 years in relation to how much things cost – food, lodging, clothes, travel, and so on.I enjoyed parts of this book more than others. I am having a hard time pinpointing exactly what did not work for me. The writing style made this book a quick read, but I had some trouble getting truly invested in this story and the lives of these characters.If you love old Hollywood I suggest you give this story a try for yourself!*Thank you NetGalley, Gallery Books, and Juliette Fay for the opportunity to read and review this book for my honest opinion.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the fact that the friendships between Mille, Irene and Henry were born out of necessity but grew into deep love and affection for each other. Each of the three have a different path in Hollywood that they will follow to gain fame. I enjoyed Irene’s the most because it highlighted women scriptwriters in a way that I had not read yet.The quotes in the beginning of each chapters were great lead ins and highlighted that time period.This is a great book about old school Hollywood.
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  • Jena Henry
    January 1, 1970
    What’s your favorite movie? I can’t wait to see his latest film. Hollywood…Tinseltown…dream factory…La La Land… dazzling phrases that conjure dreams of glamour, sophistication, power and beauty. Movie, and movie stars have captivated us for well over 100 years now. What was it like back in the early days of Hollywood, back in the silent film era?According to Author Juliette Fay, life in Hollywood hasn’t changed too much. Prohibition is over, but the cars are still shiny, the stars are still glit What’s your favorite movie? I can’t wait to see his latest film. Hollywood…Tinseltown…dream factory…La La Land… dazzling phrases that conjure dreams of glamour, sophistication, power and beauty. Movie, and movie stars have captivated us for well over 100 years now. What was it like back in the early days of Hollywood, back in the silent film era?According to Author Juliette Fay, life in Hollywood hasn’t changed too much. Prohibition is over, but the cars are still shiny, the stars are still glittering, and hopes are still high. (There has been one big change. Arc lamps are no longer used in film projectors. Their unsteady light is why early films were called “flickers.”)The word flicker means “shining with a light that is sometimes bright and sometimes weak”. The title of this book, The City of Flickering Light is a good description of the silent movie era- a time that flickered between the gritty and the fabulous.And into this unique southern California world jump our friends Irene, Millie and Henry. Each has their own reason for wanting to brave Hollywood. Together they are friends who would do anything for one another as they experience the flickering ups and downs of Hollywood. Author Fay is an experienced and compelling storyteller and readers will devour their story.Many real people from Hollywood appear in the book, too, as well as a great cast of lesser characters. The author skillfully blends great details about the actual business of making movies, as well as truthfully capturing the morals and thoughts of the times, as seen through the characters’ eyes.Each chapter features a quote from someone famous in the silent movie era. These sayings fascinating and serve like a “title card” to introduce the next part of the story. The author has included notes to supplement her research. I plan to watch a silent film now. I highly recommend this book.My thanks to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster, Gallery Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    I've found a new go to author! This book is another great read from the author of the Tumbling Turner Sisters. It is a delightful tale with a great cast of characters that is set in the early days of the making of silent movies in Hollywood. Like her prior book, each chapter opens with a wonderful quote from a Hollywood legend that foreshadows the issues exposed in the forthcoming chapter. It was entertaining, interesting and as would be expected rather disturbing at times, to read about that er I've found a new go to author! This book is another great read from the author of the Tumbling Turner Sisters. It is a delightful tale with a great cast of characters that is set in the early days of the making of silent movies in Hollywood. Like her prior book, each chapter opens with a wonderful quote from a Hollywood legend that foreshadows the issues exposed in the forthcoming chapter. It was entertaining, interesting and as would be expected rather disturbing at times, to read about that era and how woman survived and somehow managed to excel within it. I'm already looking forward to her next release!Thank you to NetGalley for providing me an early release in exchange for an honest and fair review.
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  • Allie Larkin
    January 1, 1970
    I have to confess that I took ages to finish this book because I didn't want to face the idea of saying goodbye to these characters. Old Hollywood makes for a thrilling, fascinating backdrop and this book feels like a grand adventure! The heart and soul of these characters makes the book truly special. I fell madly in love with Irene, Millie, and Henry, and didn't want to let them go. Juliette Fay did an incredible job creating endearing people who love and struggle in authentic ways. I know I'l I have to confess that I took ages to finish this book because I didn't want to face the idea of saying goodbye to these characters. Old Hollywood makes for a thrilling, fascinating backdrop and this book feels like a grand adventure! The heart and soul of these characters makes the book truly special. I fell madly in love with Irene, Millie, and Henry, and didn't want to let them go. Juliette Fay did an incredible job creating endearing people who love and struggle in authentic ways. I know I'll need to read this book again. I miss them already.
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  • Randy
    January 1, 1970
    I had the great good luck to read CITY OF FLICKERING LIGHT early on--what a fantastic ride. Early Hollywood was filled with extraordinary stories & author Fay captures three enmeshed figures--from the faint beginnings of 'I wanna be a star' to the different paths taken. I absolutely loved this page-turning novel.
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  • Lynne Lambdin
    January 1, 1970
    The 1920's are such an iconic time in American History. This is the decade of flappers, flickers and Fitzgerald. But that is just the teasing tip, this Jazz-Age era brought forth new social and art movements like the Harlem Renaissance. It brought forth an elusive world of speakeasies that somehow made prohibition seem glamorous. I've sought out many novels from this era since it is such a dreamy time, but I have never dived into the Hollywood element. And this novel was the perfect introduction The 1920's are such an iconic time in American History. This is the decade of flappers, flickers and Fitzgerald. But that is just the teasing tip, this Jazz-Age era brought forth new social and art movements like the Harlem Renaissance. It brought forth an elusive world of speakeasies that somehow made prohibition seem glamorous. I've sought out many novels from this era since it is such a dreamy time, but I have never dived into the Hollywood element. And this novel was the perfect introduction into the alluring world of Hollywood in the early 1920's.The story begins in a whirlwind of chaos, we have our three narrators (Millie, Irene, & Henry) making a narrow escape out of a burlesque situation. And soon after they are on their way by train to sunny California where one can only hope they will make it. From there, we see the trials and tribulations of becoming a Hollywood Star or Starlet and the drama that comes along with it.Generally, I really did enjoy this novel. My understanding of the actors, actresses and flickers of this time was fairly minimal. As I read along, I looked up names and movie mentioned getting a face to the name. Which I really enjoyed learning the background and history. Additionally, some of the story characters were based on actual people and events that occurred during the early 20's. And despite the times, the drama was anything but simple much closer to scandalous. Fay's novel really did inspire you to perform additional research to get the skinny. I also like the incorporation of heroine. I never realized how loosely the drug was used in place of morphine, since heroine was considered the none addicting alternative. Very interesting insight into the understandings of an era that was intelligent just not as advanced as we are today. I did have a few issues with the novel. The entire novel is fairly predictable. If you think you have any inclination as to what will happen in this novel, you probably will hit the nail on the head. I won't call them cliches, but the drama that you expect to unfold for this era is exactly what happens. There were very few surprises aside from the shock being much of these events are based on actual people, places or events. Additionally, I feel as if the author did a great deal of research into the era and location. But I felt as if not enough research was done on simple things for example the 20's slang. I've read novels based on this era, where the slang was very natural and frequent. While there are some quips here and there, they kind of felt forced and like they were used to say "hey, I researched this too". For example, jake, was used probably once at most. It felt like the author could have incorporated the talk for this time a little better. Especially since this is Hollywood, full of young, beautiful people who are setting the standards for cool. I've just witnessed a believable execution of "20's talk" and this wasn't it. The author clearly did a great deal of research into the history of Hollywood, but it is the little details that can make a difference. Overall, I am going to rate this novel 3.5 stars rounded to 4. It was interesting, holds your attention and the characters are likable. It just feels like something you've read before. But that isn't meant in a negative way. I think it comes with the era.I'd like to thank NetGalley and Gallery Books for the advanced copy of this novel.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Star Rating: 2.5 StarsFor a book that is 400 pages, it took me a little more than 2 weeks to finish it. Which is never a good sign.This book was huge disappointment for me. Not because its a bad book because its not. Its well written and well researched, but ultimately, I could not connect with this.In theory, this book should have been a slam dunk for me. 1. I've read this author before and I really enjoyed that book. I read The Tumbling Turner Sisters back in 2016 and it remains one of my fa Star Rating: 2.5 StarsFor a book that is 400 pages, it took me a little more than 2 weeks to finish it. Which is never a good sign.This book was huge disappointment for me. Not because its a bad book because its not. Its well written and well researched, but ultimately, I could not connect with this.In theory, this book should have been a slam dunk for me. 1. I've read this author before and I really enjoyed that book. I read The Tumbling Turner Sisters back in 2016 and it remains one of my favorite books. 2. Its about old Hollywood... WHO AMONG US DOES NOT LOVE OLD HOLLYWOOD GOSSIP?!Alas, if I had a nickel for each time a book, in theory, should have blown me away but didn't -I'd have a lot of nickels. What is it about: In July 1920, 3 friends Irene Van Beck, Millie Martin, and Henry Weiss make a break from their life in a traveling burlesque show to take a chance making it in Hollywood. At the same time, Hollywood in the 1920s is iridescent, scandalous, and utterly exhilarating—and the three friends yearn for a life they could only have dreamed of before. But despite the glamour of Tinseltown, success doesn’t come easy, and nothing can prepare Irene, Millie, and Henry for the poverty, temptation, and heartbreak that lie ahead.What Didn't Work: I liked the idea of the story - Old Hollywood and gossip. But unfortunately, I just didn't care about anything that was going on. I liked the characters fine. But I couldn't connect with any of them. I need to connect with the characters of a book to really enjoy it. I can appreciated a well written and well researched book (which this absolutely is), but if I can't wait to get to at least one of the character's stories then... What is there for me?I also found the tie in with her previous The Tumbling Turner Sisters to be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the character I really connected with on that one was not the one we follow. I like the format of including a quote from a famous player of the time at the beginning of the chapters to be a fun little detail to include. I love quotes and it was a fun opportunity to look up old Hollywood starlets and power players to see who is who.You know, until it completely spoils what is happening in the story, which takes a lot of the anticipation out of it. Why carry on when I already know what's going to go down?Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
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  • Kandice Miles
    January 1, 1970
    I won an advanced uncorrected proof of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. This is my honest review of this book. Let me just say, this book was nothing like what I was expecting and I was pleasantly surprised! Based in the 1920s, this is a story of a young lady, Irene, and her two friends, Henry and Millie, who try to make something of their lives in a very young Hollywood. The story starts with them jumping off a moving train on the run from the traveling burlesque show they were in, and trying I won an advanced uncorrected proof of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. This is my honest review of this book. Let me just say, this book was nothing like what I was expecting and I was pleasantly surprised! Based in the 1920s, this is a story of a young lady, Irene, and her two friends, Henry and Millie, who try to make something of their lives in a very young Hollywood. The story starts with them jumping off a moving train on the run from the traveling burlesque show they were in, and trying to make their way to the California. This right here is what hooked me. Who would jump off a moving train and why? Such a hook! These friends make it to Hollywood and it is nothing like what they were expecting. The details of how the people in Hollywood, at this time during Prohibition and the 1920s, was surprising to me in some ways but in others it was what I expected. These friends try to find their true calling in Hollywood and live the struggles of finding who they are now that they can be whoever they want!Such great detail went into this story and I loved the friendship that develops between the three main characters. They stick with each other through thick and thin, no matter what, and support each other. They don't let their new lives get in the way of that friendship, and they have ups and downs like any other relationship does, but they always come back together. I was pleasantly surprised that this book showed the reality of the 1920s and not just the glamorous parts that most historical and historical fiction books show. Juliette Fay's writing style is easy to follow and it flows quite nicely. The details in the story, the world building, the backstory development, were all top notch in my opinion. I highly recommend this book to those that love historical fiction, the 1920s, and Hollywood stories.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    As a resident of southern California, I have a particular interest and affinity for novels featuring this part of the country. Juliette Fay has written a page-turner of a historical novel set in the Hollywood of at the early 1920's. The book engaged me because of the strength of its characters and seemingly effortless descriptions of the residences, restaurants, work scenes and "playgrounds" of the period.Although early Hollywood is the star of this book, Fay's three protagonists bring warmth, d As a resident of southern California, I have a particular interest and affinity for novels featuring this part of the country. Juliette Fay has written a page-turner of a historical novel set in the Hollywood of at the early 1920's. The book engaged me because of the strength of its characters and seemingly effortless descriptions of the residences, restaurants, work scenes and "playgrounds" of the period.Although early Hollywood is the star of this book, Fay's three protagonists bring warmth, drama and life to the story. The descriptions of studio life and the struggles to get ahead feel right, but the most engaging aspect of the book is the central theme of the power of friendship.Fay's "buddy book" brings together three very disparate personalities who come to rely on each other in very profound ways. Initially they needed each other for courage and financial support, but in a very short time they realized their relationships were much more substantial than that. Each assumed responsibilities they never expected to take on and each person morphed in to a person who experienced far more than they anticipated.Juliette Fay is a gifted story teller and her novel was the perfect escape for a rainy weekend.
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  • Tami
    January 1, 1970
    This was just an all-around enjoyable read. The main characters were very likable people and even though it may have been a bit predictable, it was still a very engaging story.Irene, Millie and Henry each have a background that they feel the need to run away from. They form a make-shift family after making a daring escape from a traveling burlesque show. When they get to Hollywood, they help each other until they each find jobs.Even after they each begin to experience some success with their car This was just an all-around enjoyable read. The main characters were very likable people and even though it may have been a bit predictable, it was still a very engaging story.Irene, Millie and Henry each have a background that they feel the need to run away from. They form a make-shift family after making a daring escape from a traveling burlesque show. When they get to Hollywood, they help each other until they each find jobs.Even after they each begin to experience some success with their careers, they still face some trying times and come together to support one another. As they make friends with others, they form a larger group of “family” in the Hollywood community.I loved the references to actors and actresses from the 1920’s and the descriptions of the Hollywood topography at that time. It was an interesting inside look at what it took to get a foot in the door of Hollywood during the 1920’s.A fun read and one that I think most readers will enjoy, especially those with an interest in Hollywood and historical fiction.Many thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for allowing me to read an advance copy and offer my honest review.
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  • Kim McGee
    January 1, 1970
    The beginning of a little village called Hollywood in the 1920s was a place where dreams became reality or for some, a real nightmare.Three unlikely traveling companions jump a train to escape the evil world of vaudeville and a burlesque show to begin what they feel is their destiny - the movies. For Irene, it offers a chance to discover her writing talents, for Henry, it is an awareness of who he really is and for poor lost Millie, it is a chance to find love and attention from any source. This The beginning of a little village called Hollywood in the 1920s was a place where dreams became reality or for some, a real nightmare.Three unlikely traveling companions jump a train to escape the evil world of vaudeville and a burlesque show to begin what they feel is their destiny - the movies. For Irene, it offers a chance to discover her writing talents, for Henry, it is an awareness of who he really is and for poor lost Millie, it is a chance to find love and attention from any source. This historical novel touches on the seedier side of the movies - the racism, homophobia and sexual abuse that went on unchecked or swept under the rug. It includes many famous names and the events that occurred during that time as well as each chapter starting with a quote to set the scene. The characters and their stories are interesting and tragic when you realize that much of what they went through in the early days of moviemaking still exists today. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
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  • Joan Happel
    January 1, 1970
    It’s 1921 and the Golden Age of Hollywood when three friends, fleeing from an abusive burlesque show owner, jump from a train and head to Tinsel-town to seek fame and fortune. Irene Van Beck, Millie Martin and Henry Weiss pool money and talents in order to make their dreams come true. The trio faces many obstacles along the way including the famous casting couches, anti-Semitism, rampant drug abuse and having to hide one’s sexuality. Despite a fairly predictable plot, this is still a well-resear It’s 1921 and the Golden Age of Hollywood when three friends, fleeing from an abusive burlesque show owner, jump from a train and head to Tinsel-town to seek fame and fortune. Irene Van Beck, Millie Martin and Henry Weiss pool money and talents in order to make their dreams come true. The trio faces many obstacles along the way including the famous casting couches, anti-Semitism, rampant drug abuse and having to hide one’s sexuality. Despite a fairly predictable plot, this is still a well-researched book, portraying the beginnings of Hollywood and the movie industry and taking on some serious subjects. Ms. Fay does and admiral job of transporting the reader back to the age of the “flickers”, creating a realistic sense of time and place. Fans of historical fiction and early Hollywood will enjoy this novel and many may be lead to pursue some of the books and other sources listed by the author at the end of the novel.Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Debi Hawkes
    January 1, 1970
    City of Flickering Light by Juliette Fay is one of the best, most enjoyable historical fiction novels I have read.The three main characters, while completely fictional, are so well drawn, so real seeming, that I had to Google them just to double check! All three were so engaging, I felt as if I knew them.Many supporting characters are based on well known members of the Silent Movie Era. The locales are accurate to the time, many of which are still present today. I recommend this book to all, I'm City of Flickering Light by Juliette Fay is one of the best, most enjoyable historical fiction novels I have read.The three main characters, while completely fictional, are so well drawn, so real seeming, that I had to Google them just to double check! All three were so engaging, I felt as if I knew them.Many supporting characters are based on well known members of the Silent Movie Era. The locales are accurate to the time, many of which are still present today. I recommend this book to all, I'm sure you'll have as much fun as I did.I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher Simon & Schuster in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Jamckean
    January 1, 1970
    Juliette Fay’s CITY OF FLICKERING LIGHT is a delicious, addictive read, transporting readers to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Fay tells the fascinating story of three friends struggling to find stardom on the silent screen. Navigating their way among the glitz and glamour, temptation and heartbreak, Millie, Henry and Irene learn that friendship is what will sustain and save them. A fabulous read!
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  • Kris Ruggiero
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book and if you’re a fan of historical fiction and Old Hollywood, this book is definitely one you should pick up. Right from the beginning, I was transported into the lives of Irene, Henry, and Millie. I felt like I was a part of their lives and they took me into their friendship. I was happy that they had each other because their lives were not easy. They each came from a troubled past, but they managed to find one another and help each other survive—literally. Through hea I really enjoyed this book and if you’re a fan of historical fiction and Old Hollywood, this book is definitely one you should pick up. Right from the beginning, I was transported into the lives of Irene, Henry, and Millie. I felt like I was a part of their lives and they took me into their friendship. I was happy that they had each other because their lives were not easy. They each came from a troubled past, but they managed to find one another and help each other survive—literally. Through heartache, pain, and extreme poverty. I also loved that the author researched the book so well and the characters are based on real people from the 1920s silent film industry and real places in and around Hollywood. That was part of the reason I wanted to read this book. I love to read about California’s early history. There is so much rich detail here. Not only was this a great story but it’s also a wonderful trip into the past and I learned so much about the beginnings of the movie industry. It was not an easy way to try and make a living, but the promise of a different way of life—to be creative, to have freedom from societal mores, the glitz and glamour—it was a beacon that guided Irene, Millie, and Henry throughout their lives..Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Yolanda
    January 1, 1970
    This was a good book about the silent film era that was well researched. I enjoyed the history of Hollywood in the 20’s.. thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me review this book
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