Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Review: The Great Pretenders by Laura Kalpakian



Berkley Books

Release Date:
April 16, 2019

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The daughter of Hollywood royalty, Roxanne Granville is used to getting what she wants--even if she has to break the rules. But after a falling-out with her grandfather, a powerful movie mogul, she has to face life on her own for the first time....

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.

My Review

Roxanne Granville was born into the Hollywood world. Her grandparents ran Empire Pictures and she was the darling around the studio. Now in her twenties, Roxanne is ready to begin a career of her own, which isn’t easy for women in the 1950’s. She quickly learns that men refuse to take her seriously and only see her as a sex object.

She is determined to begin a career as a Hollywood agent. She takes on some daring scripts that people would find controversial. Not to mention that she becomes involved in a relationship that is not acceptable in the 1950’s. Roxanne is playing with fire and both situations turn her life upside down.

This is a realistic look into the turbulent times of the 1950’s. The author adds real life celebrity names to the story which helps to paint a vivid picture of the era and bring realism to each page. For a few days, I actually felt as if I was in the 1950’s.

The Great Pretenders is well written and emotional with true to life situations. There were a few parts in the middle that were slow-moving, but then the excitement picked up and I couldn’t stop reading until I knew how it would all play out.

I never read anything by this author before, but I will definitely be on the look out for more of her books.

For reading challenges:
Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge 2019

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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