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Platinum Doll
by Anne Girard

Published: 2016-01-26
Paperback : 368 pages
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Set against the dazzling backdrop of Golden Age Hollywood, novelist Anne Girard tells the enchanting story of Jean Harlow, one of the most iconic stars in the history of film 

It's the Roaring Twenties and seventeen-year-old Harlean Carpenter McGrew has run off to Beverly Hills. She's ...

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Introduction

Set against the dazzling backdrop of Golden Age Hollywood, novelist Anne Girard tells the enchanting story of Jean Harlow, one of the most iconic stars in the history of film 

It's the Roaring Twenties and seventeen-year-old Harlean Carpenter McGrew has run off to Beverly Hills. She's chasing a dream—to escape her small, Midwestern life and see her name in lights. 

In California, Harlean has everything a girl could want—a rich husband, glamorous parties, socialite friends—except an outlet for her talent. But everything changes when a dare pushes her to embrace her true ambition—to be an actress on the silver screen. With her timeless beauty and striking shade of platinum-blond hair, Harlean becomes Jean Harlow. And as she's thrust into the limelight, Jean learns that this new world of opportunity comes with its own set of burdens. Torn between her family and her passion to perform, Jean is forced to confront the difficult truth—that fame comes at a price, if only she's willing to pay it. 

Amid a glittering cast of ingenues and Hollywood titans—Clara Bow, Clark Gable, Laurel and Hardy, Howard Hughes—Platinum Doll introduces us to the star who would shine brighter than them all.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

Harlean sat for a moment, taking in the activity of the back lot. Huge props were being wheeled past groups of actors, and other workers were pushing stuffed racks of costumes. Harlean was figiting with her wedding band and finally growing restless, after almost thirty minutes of waiting, when a man in a gray three-piece business suit and felt homburg walked briskly past the car, and then he did a double take. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1) Shortly after their arrival in Hollywood, Harlean declares that she has no interest in becoming an actress. Do you think she actually believed that of herself at that point?



2) Mother Jean and Harlean have a complex relationship throughout the novel. Did you find yourself understanding Harlean’s inability to stand up to her mother, or was that relationship difficult to read about? How did their uses of the terms “Mommie” and “Baby” for each other strike you?



3) Chuck and Harlean had a tumultuous, short-lived marriage. For its demise, did you find yourself blaming their youth or Mother Jean’s influence more? Could anything have changed what happened?

Suggested by Members

Jean Harlow paved the way for other starlets to follow, discuss other women who have provided positive pathways for women.
At the time, Jean was a trend setter for platinum blond hair. Discuss current trends that have been set by Hollywood people.
How did you feel about Jean's life and the things she had to sacrifice or that challenged her and why?
by ccroft78248 (see profile) 07/15/16

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

"A fascinating, page-turning, behind-the-scenes look at what it took to be a celebrity in early Hollywood." -Lynn Cullen, bestselling author of Mrs. Poe and Twain's End

"[Girard] brings Harlow to life." -The Globe and Mail

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

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  "Jean Harlow Platinum Doll"by ccroft78248 (see profile) 07/15/16

Our book club received these books in one of the weekly book giveaways and what a FUN book it is! I remember Jean Harlow but knew very little about her. The book is written well to portray the era and... (read more)

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