Again, I chose a book set in the present, and again it made me happy to read. Fading Starlight by Kathryn Cushman…
The publisher’s blurb:
A Tale of Unexpected Friendship and Old Hollywood Glamour
From the Back CoverWhen Her Big Shot Blows Up on Her,
How Far Will One Woman Go to Regain Her Dream?
Lauren Summers is in hiding. Her fashion house internship was supposed to launch her career, but a red carpet accident has left her blackballed. The only job she can find comes with little pay, but at least it offers a free place to live–a run-down cottage in the shadow of a cliff-side mansion. Planning to live on savings until she figures out what’s next, she’s unprepared to be contacted by a reporter.Kendall Joiner is researching Charlotte Montgomery, a former Hollywood ingénue who lives a reclusive life in the cliff-side mansion. Rumors have swirled for decades about Charlotte, and now Kendall wants to find the real story. In return, she may just have the key to getting Lauren back into the fashion world. Desperate to restore her dreams, Lauren’s not sure she can turn down the offer–but as she and Miss Montgomery get to know more about each other, Lauren realizes nothing is quite as it seems.
What did I think of the book?
All of this begins with… a wardrobe malfunction. Walking up on stage to present an award, teen star Marisa Remington trips a bit on the edge of the Deb Couture gown she is wearing – and live cameras capture everything she is wearing underneath! Lauren was the last one to work on the gown, having been the only designer who could handle Marisa’s difficult personality, so all the blame is heaped on her. As a result, she loses her internship, and as her roommate, Chloe, is getting married soon, Lauren needs to find another place to live that is very inexpensive and far enough away from Hollywood that she can lay low for a bit and let the scandal die down.
Luckily, she is offered a job at a prestigious high school in Santa Barbara creating costumes for their upcoming production of Camelot. Luckier still, she is offered a cottage in a gated community, provided she be at home while the renovators are there to work.
The cottage is next door to a huge Victorian mansion, in which resides Charlotte Montgomery, who has many ghosts in her past and many secrets she keeps. Ever suspicious of people, and for good reason, she immediately sets about to evict Lauren from the community. Though Lauren really has done nothing to warrant eviction, the favors reporter Kendall begins to ask of her might spell the end of her stay there. If she doesn’t do as Kendall wishes, Lauren may never be vindicated if the disaster with Marisa turns out to have been a publicity stunt all along.
I felt this was a very good read – interesting storylines and very human, relatable characters. It will make a great poolside or patio-in-the-shade summertime book. If you like old Hollywood, this would be great for you.
**I was sent this copy from Bethany House in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.**