stars over sunset boulevard book coverReviewed by Amanda Schafer

When Christine finds a beautiful green hat in a box that’s been sent to her resell shop, she knows she’s found something that wasn’t supposed to be found. As she works to contact the family and return the item, she can’t help but wonder how such an item ended up buried in a box from someone’s attic…

Violet Mayfield had dreams of being a wife and mother but those dreams would never become a reality. In order to heal, and find a new life, Violet moves to Los Angeles in 1938 and finds herself as an assistant on the set of Gone With the Wind. She finds friends in Audrey (an aspiring actress) and Bert (a wardrobe assistant) and the three quickly become close. Violet develops feelings for Bert, but he only  has eyes for Audrey…and Audrey only has eyes for the film screen. One evening while together, Bert shows the girls one of the hats for the movie that is to be worn by Scarlet. The next morning the hat is gone and their friendship shifts. They all think Audrey has the hat somewhere and Violet uses that information to prove to Bert that Audrey really doesn’t care about him at all. These doubts in his mind offer the perfect opportunity for Violet to show him her own devotion.

After Violet and Bert get married Audrey realizes how different things have become. Violet and Bert try to start a family but Violet has a secret she’s never told Bert. Audrey shows up with her own secret and their lives are again intertwined, but still remain very complicated. As the years go by, they all have to deal with the long-lasting repercussions of living and maintaining these lies. What will happen when their secrets can no longer be hidden and all of it comes out?

For me, Stars Over Sunset Boulevard was a bit of a different book for Susan Meissner. As one who loves Gone With the Wind, I really enjoyed reading about the filming and “behind the scenes” aspects of the movie. But the connection to present day just didn’t feel solid. We got to see the descendants of Violet in present day, but it just wasn’t of much importance to the story. I kept waiting for some grand revelation near the end of the book and there wasn’t one. It was just a basic sub-plot. The *real* story is in the first 2/3 of the book but after that it kind of fizzles out. I still love Susan Meissner’s writing and won’t let this deter me from reading her stuff, but this just didn’t seem up to par with her past books.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Amanda lives in Missouri with her engineering husband, two sons, and one daughter. In between homeschooling and keeping up with church activities she loves to read Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and any Chick-Lit. She never goes anywhere without a book to read!

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by NAL. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.