When her big shot blows up on her, how far will one woman go to regain her dream?
Lauren Summers is in hiding. Her fashion house internship was supposed to launch her career, but a red carpet accident has left her blackballed. The only job she can find comes with little pay, but at least it offers a free place to live -- a rundown cottage in the shadow of a cliff-side mansion. Planning to live on savings until she figures out what's next, she's unprepared to be contacted by a reporter.
Kendall Joiner is researching Charlotte Montgomery, a former Hollywood ingénue who lives a reclusive life in the cliff-side mansion. Rumors have swirled for decades about Charlotte, and now Kendall wants to find the real story. In return, she may just have the key to getting Lauren back into the fashion world. Desperate to restore her dreams, Lauren's not sure she can turn down the offer -- but as she and Miss Montgomery get to know more about each other, Lauren realizes nothing is quite as it seems.
The glamour of old Hollywood combined with a vintage-inspired fashion designer had my heart singing. In fact, the story had a retro movie feel to it even though it takes place in present day. I love classic films so I couldn't help picturing this novel acted out on the big screen.
And, oh my goodness, what a deliciously uncomfortable read it was! And that's a good thing! The author does a fantastic job of laying out a story filled with pitfalls and second guessing and a whole pile of angst. My jaw hurts from clenching my teeth while anxiously anticipating the proverbial other shoe to drop.
I could so relate to Lauren. Not because of her Ninja sewing skills though. No, we're kindred spirits because we both have trouble discerning promptings from the spirit even when they seem glaringly obvious afterwards. I love that Lauren places such importance in her faith. She prays and studies the bible and seeks ways to reflect Christ's light to those around her. But no matter how hard she tries, she doesn't always get it right. Like there's this one scripture that keeps coming to her mind throughout the book and she keeps dismissing it because she doesn't think it relates to her situation. Only it does! She's just not looking at it from the right perspective. I shouted myself hoarse trying to get her to see the light. All to no avail until it was nearly too late.
Charlotte is an interesting secondary character and I especially enjoyed the flashbacks of her life as a young Hollywood starlet. Brutal life experience has made Charlotte a bitter and judgemental woman. I did not like her at all at first. Felt righteously indignant on Lauren's behalf more than once, but Cushman works some storytelling magic and I began to see beyond the superior airs and grating behavior. Contrary to popular opinion, Charlotte Montgomery does have a heart!
An engaging faith-based story about friendship and faith and hope for the future.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. in exchange for my honest review.
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