Happy Monday all!
Excited to share with you today my review for this stunning story that truly exceeded my expectations! This was a group read and not everyone has finished yet but everyone is loving it so far!🎬
an elegantly told exquisite tale of Old Hollywood and the girl who turned it on its head!
Laura Kalpakian stole my heart with this brilliant book! Have you ever finished a Book and thought, I need more and I need it now! That was me with this book. I was so invested in the story and these characters, I was seriously crushed when it was over. Kalpakian completely transported me to 1950s Old Hollywood with her riveting words.
Roxanne is Hollywood royalty, growing up on the back lots of her grandfather’s studio. Raised by her grandparents she is devastated when her grandmother passes away and is angry with her grandfather for leaving her beloved grandmother for a much younger woman. Not wanting to continue college and cut off (sort of) from her grandfather she finds herself living in a bungalow in Malibu. Realizing she knows Hollywood better than most she decides to pursue a career as an agent. After not being taken seriously and dealing with sexual harassment she decides to set out on her own. A huge risk, but Roxanne is all about risk. After a chance encounter (or two) Roxanne finds herself falling in love with Terrence an African-American reporter. BUT this is the 50s and multiracial relationships are a huge taboo even in liberal Hollywood. Will Roxanne‘s risks ultimately pay off? Will love conquer all or leave her heartbroken? You are definitely going to need to read this book and find out the answers to these questions and so much more!
Roxanne was so feisty, so fierce, and so ahead of her time. She was sassy with a vulnerable side and that made her even more endearing. This book took place during the “red scare, “the “blacklist,“ I found the politics of Hollywood fascinating. I also had absolutely no idea that Los Angeles was so segregated in the 50s. Growing up in southern California I guess I always like to think we are a little more enlightened than the rest of the country when it comes to racial relations, I guess not so much? Also fun fact… max one of the screen writers in the story who is blacklisted moves 60 miles south east of LA to the city where I live now(He was pretty much exiled to Riverside). I imagine it was quite rural here back in the day and seemed extremely far away from the hustle and bustle of LA. Now it is nonstop cities and freeways and traffic from LA to Riverside.
Such a magical story! I just loved everything the history, the characters, the setting, the tension, the romance. Roxanne was an amazing character who I won’t soon forget. Her relationship with Terrence was so raw, so intense, and so heart wrenching. I fell for these two so completely. This book had a Beautiful perfect ending, BUT I SO wanted more! A follow up would be great, I would really love to see what happens to these characters next. In case you can’t tell I strongly recommend this book!
*** A huge thank you to Berkley for my copy of this book ***
About the Book
Roxanne forges a career unique for women in the 1950s, becoming an agent for hungry young screenwriters. She struggles to be taken seriously by the men who rule Hollywood and who often assume that sexual favors are just a part of doing business. When she sells a script by a blacklisted writer under the name of a willing front man, more exiled writers seek her help. Roxanne wades into a world murky with duplicity and deception, and she can’t afford any more risks.
Then she meets Terrence Dexter, a compelling African American journalist unlike anyone she’s ever known. Roxanne again breaks the rules and is quickly swept up in a passionate relationship with very real dangers that could destroy everything she’s carefully built.
Roxanne Granville is a woman who bravely defies convention. She won’t let men make all the rules and won’t let skin color determine whom she can love.
The Great Pretenders is a riveting, emotional novel that resonates in today’s world and reminds us that some things are worth fighting for.
💕💕 Be sure to check out all the Besties’ reviews!