The Forgotten Lies by Kerry Jamieson

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The Forgotten Lies by Kerry Jamieson

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Great plot, superb evocation of time and place - and a heroine whom you never quite warm to, but are still keen to know how she gets on. A great read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: November 2011
Publisher: Michael Joseph
ISBN: 978-0141026046

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In the mid-thirties, the golden age of Hollywood, three aspiring starlets shared a studio house on Lantana Drive as they waited to hear if they were going to have a career in the movies – or not. Charlotte (soon to be Carlie for acting purposes), Verbena, known to her friends (and only her friends) as Bee and Ivy were desperate for the role of a lifetime, which would put their name in lights. There was an added appeal. Whoever won would star opposite Liam Malone – good looking, charismatic and very married with six children. It wasn't just a case of being able to act. Their lives would be under intense scrutiny.

It's not easy to write a book which really takes you back to a particular period without making the mistake of shoe-horning in every bit of research and making the book read like a work of non-fiction. Kerry Jamieson is pitch-perfect on this. Everything about this book – from the stylish outfit on the front cover though to the hierarchy of the movie industry – is spot on and it was sometimes quite a shock to look up from the book and realise that the world had moved on by three-quarters of a century. It's not just the movie industry either – there's a real sense of an author who knows her subject and is telling us about rather than one who has done the research.

This is essentially Charlotte's story and Charlotte would really rather that it wasn't told, but stories like hers have a way of working their way to the surface. There are those who know the stories who want money to keep quiet, those who want to find out what has happened so they can make money out Charlotte – and those who would do her down. Charlotte has beauty and she has talent, but the closest she comes to having someone she can trust is her Mexican maid and Allegra has ulterior motives too. Whatever else there is between the three girls and their maid it's definitely not friendship.

The plot is layered like an onion. Every time that you think you've got the full story there's another layer waiting to be peeled away. It's one of those rare books where I didn't try and work out what would happen – I just put myself in Jamieson's hands and let her take me where she would. I wasn't disappointed.

For more of the golden age of Hollywood we can recommend Me Cheeta by James Lever and Sunnyside by Glen David Gold or No Sale by Patrick Conrad.

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Buy The Forgotten Lies by Kerry Jamieson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Forgotten Lies by Kerry Jamieson at


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