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Friday, October 13, 2017

The Hollywood Daughter by Kate Alcott

Kate Alcott brings alive the turmoil in Hollywood during the mid-1940s and early 1950s in The Hollywood Daughter. Told through the eyes of a Hollywood publicist's daughter, Jessica Malloy, Hollywood studios and stars battled against communism and the Catholic Church. Despite Ingrid Bergman's fall from grace when she began an affair with Roberto Rossellini, she remained Jessica Malloy's idol throughout her childhood. Ms. Alcott has a gift for weaving a fictional story through the historical past of Hollywood's glamour and turmoil. Up against The House of UnAmerican Activities Committee (stamping out communism) and the Catholic Church's Legion of Decency (against immorality) Hollywood had many rules to follow. According to the Hollywood production code, no on screen kiss could last more than 3 seconds, even married couples had separate beds.

From the cover:
The Swedish star Ingrid Bergman of Casablanca fame shocked the staid world of 1950s America by having a baby out of wedlock with her Italian lover, film director Roberto Rossellini. Bergman has been idolized in the United States as an icon of purity, and her fall enraged most moviegoing Americans, especially the legions of Catholic fans who identified with her roles as a nun in The Bells of St. Mary's and a saint in Joan of Arc.
This headline-grabbing scandal throws seventeen year old Jessica Malloy's life into confusion. Her father, a publicist for the Selznick Studio, has helped build Ingrid into a star. Not only does the fall of Ingrid expose dangerous cracks in the marriage of Jesse's strict Catholic mother and her cheerful ambitious father, it threatens to rob Jesse of her childhood hero. . . Jesse must navigate the gray area of moral contradictions that can shape and ruin lives including hidden truths about her own family.

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