It is ten years after the end of WWII. Europe lies in ruins. Poverty reigns over most part of the continent. The evidence of cities which have imploded in on themselves still dominates the landscape.Communism is still either romanticized or vilified.Desolation clouds the European urban landscape.The Holocaust is still a stark, raw, reality for the survivors who need to find new meaning in their lives. The film industry is spreading wings to include the horror of the war in the movie reels. There are strong opposing viewpoints on the distribution of the films. Grace Kelly is getting married, the Cannes Film Festival is lurking in the wings of things. Movies are as much a part of her presence as it was of her past. Actors, directors, screenwriters and musicians are the people gracing her life in exile.
The elegance and style of the rich stand in stark contrast to the death, destruction and destitution of the people populating the continent.Betrayal is as part of life as the foggy, dreary reality of London.
Cara Walden is a 19-year-old actress, the daughter of a well-known Hollywood producer.Leaving her home country and its dark memories, she starts her new life as a singer and actress, travelling from London to Italy to France. Her experiences in Europe will not only help her grow up, but will also lead her to solving the mystery behind her mother's death.
Cara navigates historical sites, often in high-speed adventurous escapades; experiences the polar opposites in politics and social classes; tries to find emotional healing in All The Wrong Places for both her current as well as past lives.However, she slowly finds her way back to her own personal truth. She learns to trust men, as well as love, again. She has to continually convince herself of her own self-worth after being taken advantage of by unscrupulous men. She needs to trust friendship again and find bonds with other, older, women to sustain her own growth into adulthood. It is not something she knew and therefor learns what it really means to connect to women for support.
A gentle read with deeper building blocks. Eloquent prose. Informative. Well-researched.It is a good blend of Hollywood intrigue, 'lighter' romance elements, the dark underbelly of mankind, and history.
The author, being a historian, uses her extensive knowledge of postwar European history to serve as background to this first book in a promising forthcoming series.
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