Tell us a story

LoveReading is thrilled to announce the launch of The Very Short Story Award 2019! If you think you have a story we'll love, click here to find out more and how to enter:

Find out more

The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite

by Beatrice Colin

eBooks of the Month Historical Fiction

LoveReading View on The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite


Reviewed on Richard & Judy's Book Club 2009 on Wednesday 11 March.


A fascinating read for anyone interested in cinema and especially the German cinema of the 1920’s and 30’s. Following the story of an orphaned child as she struggles to grow up, hoping for a better life and a dream of becoming a movie star, we are shown an hypnotic and intriguing world full of glamour as well as seediness. Great historical fiction, you will be transported back in time.

The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite Synopsis

This is a rich, romantic historical novel showcasing the glamour, spectacle and theatrical energy of the Weimar Republic. As the clock chimed the turn of the twentieth century, Lilly Nelly Aphrodite took her first breath. Born to a cabaret dancer and soon orphaned in a scandalous murder-suicide, Lilly finds refuge at a Catholic orphanage, coming under the wing of the, at times, severe Sister August, the first in a string of lost loves.

There she meets Hanne Schmidt, a teen prostitute, and forms a bond that will last them through tumultuous love affairs, disastrous marriages, and destitution during the First World War and the subsequent economic collapse. As the century progresses, Lilly and Hanne move from the tawdry glamour of the tingle-tangle nightclubs to the shadow world of health films before Lilly finds success and stardom in the new medium of motion pictures and ultimately falls in love with a man whose fate could cost her everything she has worked for or help her discover her true self. Gripping and darkly seductive, "The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite" showcases all the glitter and splendor of the brief heyday of the Weimar Republic, and the rise of Hollywood to its golden age.

As it foreshadows the horrors of the Second World War, the novel asks what price is paid when identity becomes unfixed and the social order is upended.

If you loved this, you might like these...

The Binding
A Ration Book Christmas
The Turn of Midnight
Time's Convert

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781848540316
Publication date: 08/01/2009
Publisher: John Murray General Publishing Division
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781848540316
Publication date: 8th January 2009
Author: Beatrice Colin
Publisher: John Murray General Publishing Division
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 416 pages
Genres: eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction,
Categories: Historical fiction,

About Beatrice Colin

Beatrice Colin was born in London and raised in Scotland. She has worked as a freelance journalist, writing for publications including The Guardian, and a playwright, writing radio plays for the BBC. She lives in Glasgow.

More About Beatrice Colin

Share this book