Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
After World War II, writer and war widow Eliza Saunderson lands a job helping a former silver screen sensation, Johnny Devine, write his memoir. Despite John’s claim that he’s a changed man of faith, Eliza has qualms about his history as a womanizer. But that issue pales in comparison to the threat they face when Eliza’s articles about social oppression and John’s Hollywood connections land them both on Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Communist hit list in The Memoir of Johnny Devine by author Camille Eide.
Ever interrupt your regularly scheduled reading for a book you’ve gotta try, like, right now? Yeah. I put my schedule on hold when I found this novel. And taking nothing away from the muted and intriguing silhouette approach of the newer cover, it’s the older cover with the bright marquee, the vintage typewriter, and the rose that got me in the mood for this historical fiction read.
I’ll admit that the story’s pacing and the timing of events didn’t always work for me, and sometimes the style felt more basic than what I was expecting. Also, I never fully got into the romance. Though I appreciate serious characters, a romance in particular isn’t so compelling to me if one or both parties seem down or sorry much of the time without more to balance them out. Whether it’s by way of humor or wit, or seeing how they liven right up while engrossed in their talent, purpose, pleasure, or what have you, I just like to see a little more from romantic characters to keep their downbeats from becoming redundant.
However, the overall setting and themes kept me interested, especially the Red Scare elements. And a heroine who writes to combat racial and gender-based injustices—while wearing glasses, no less? Count me in as a fan of that.
I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.
Taking nothing away from the muted and intriguing silhouette approach of the newer cover…