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Stars Over Sunset Boulevard
by Susan Meissner

Published: 2016-01-05
Paperback : 400 pages
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3 clubs reading this now
4 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members
In this new novel from the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life, two women working in Hollywood during its Golden Age discover the joy and heartbreak of true friendship.

Los Angeles, Present Day. When an iconic hat worn by Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind  ends up in ...
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Introduction

In this new novel from the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life, two women working in Hollywood during its Golden Age discover the joy and heartbreak of true friendship.

Los Angeles, Present Day. When an iconic hat worn by Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind  ends up in Christine McAllister’s vintage clothing boutique by mistake, her efforts to return it to its owner take her on a journey more enchanting than any classic movie… 

Los Angeles, 1938.  Violet Mayfield sets out to reinvent herself in Hollywood after her  dream of becoming a wife and mother falls apart, and lands a job on the film-set of Gone With the Wind. There, she meets enigmatic Audrey Duvall, a once-rising film star who is now a fellow secretary. Audrey’s zest for life and their adventures together among Hollywood’s glitterati enthrall Violet…until each woman’s deepest desires collide.  What Audrey and Violet are willing to risk, for themselves and for each other, to ensure their own happy endings will shape their friendship, and their lives, far into the future. 

CONVERSATION GUIDE INCLUDED

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

One
December, 1938
A brilliant California sun bathed Violet Mayfield in indulgent light as she neared the soaring palm tree and the woman seated on a bench underneath it. Legs crossed at the ankles, the woman rested her back lazily against the skinny trunk. She held a cigarette in her right hand, and it was as if the thin white tube was a part of her and the stylish smoke that swirled from it an extension of her body. The woman’s fingernails, satin red and glistening, were perfectly shaped. Toenails visible to Violet through peep-toes winked the same shade of crimson. The woman wore a formfitting sheath of celery green with a scoop neckline. A magazine lay open on her lap, but her tortoiseshell sunglasses hid her eyes, so Violet couldn’t tell whether the woman was reading the article on the left page or gazing at handsome Cary Grant, whose photograph graced the right. A wad of wax paper lay crumpled on the bench beside her handbag and a bit of bread crust poked out of it. She sat in front of the Mansion at Selznick International Studios, the stunning white edifice that moviemaker Thomas Ince had built back in the twenties to look like George Washington’s Mount Vernon. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. What aspect of the novel had the strongest emotional impact on you?

2. Who did you like more—Violet or Audrey? Which woman is most like you?

3. Who is your best friend? Did she ever save your life? What do you think is the most remarkable quality about friendship?

4. The novel suggests that Melanie in Gone With the Wind is as capable of deceit as Scarlett is, if deceit is required to get what she wants. Do you agree? How do Violet and Audrey compare to Scarlett and Melanie?

5. Have you ever stolen your friend’s boyfriend?

6. Are you keeping a secret from your husband and/or friend because the truth would reflect poorly on you?

7. In Chapter 29, Violet tells herself that “sometimes a person had to do something drastic, like rip apart beautiful curtains to make a dress and hat, to bring about the better good.” How does Violet use this analogy to rationalize her actions?

8. How would the characters’ lives have been different if Violet told Lainey the truth about her mother when she first began to ask?

9. It has been said that there are only two basic emotions, love and fear, and that all the other emotions are variations. Do you agree? How are fear and love the same? How are they different?

10. Are you a fan of Gone With the Wind—the book and the film? Tell us how you felt and what you thought when you first read the book or saw the movie. Has your opinion changed over time?

11. Have you heard stories, or read depictions, about what life was like in the U.S. during World War Two? How do they compare to Violet’s experiences?

12. What do the nightingales represent in the novel? Have you ever looked for something beautiful that might not exist?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "We Loved it!"by oshgirl (see profile) 06/09/16

Wonderful story of two women, Violet and Audrey and the friendship they forged. Lively discussion on what each woman did that effected this friendship. Every member of our book club loved ... (read more)

 
  "stars over sunset boulevard"by Carolynr (see profile) 01/21/17

would give it 3.5 stars
Los Angeles, Present Day. When an iconic hat worn by Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind ends up in Christine McAllister’s vintage clothing boutique by mistak
... (read more)

 
  "Stars Over Sunset Boulevard"by Silversolara (see profile) 04/08/16

Violet, the Southern Belle, and Audry, the aspiring actress met by chance, became roommates, and worked at the same secretarial pool at Selznick International.

The stages of Gone With The

... (read more)

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