September 2013 Book of the Month.
Hollywood in the late 20s, its glory days of glamour, wealth and decadence contrasted against New York in 1911 and the hardship of the immigrants. This is a very absorbing work indeed, quite a change for this author, bigger and more ambitious than is her norm, a lovely period beautifully portrayed in an evocative, gripping read.
The Lovereading view...
Daisy Waugh's latest novel, set in the heady days before the 1929 Wall Street Crash, is an engaging story of love, fame and glamour and how far you are willing to go to get it. On the surface Max and Eleanor Beecham are a sucessful society couple but under the surface their business and personal lives are a dysfunctional mess - but can an invite to the year's most glamorous party give them a chance to change?
A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher...
'Daisy Waugh’s book, Melting the Snow on Hester Street, is one of my favourite books of the year. The writing is very elegant and cinematic - I had such a strong sense of the glamour and hedonism of 1920s Hollywood when I was reading it; how people were seduced into feeling that they were invincible, then how brutally they were destroyed by the horrifying, slow-motion implosion of the Wall Street Crash. There's also a lesser-known true story woven into the plot about the illegal exploitation of immigrants in New York, forced to work in inhuman conditions to feed the excesses of the age. It is unimaginably shocking and tragic, yet so startling close to the news stories about exploitation that we still read today.
I found myself really rooting for the two main characters, Max and Eleanor - although they are very flawed people who have made mistakes, their love for each other and their family made me feel that they deserved some kind of redemption.
It’s been compared to The Great Gatsby, which is definitely praise it deserves! But in the final realisation that out of desolation comes strength, there’s a close link to Tender is the Night – there is an enduring lesson for everyone in this haunting, elegantly written novel.' - Claire Palmer, Assistant Editor, HarperFiction
They saved each other once. Can they save each other again? It is the blistering summer of 1929 and Hollywood's glamorous set appear to have it all. Everybody everywhere is living the Hollywood dream, including the elegant and charming, high-society couple, actor and actress Maximilian and Eleanor Beecham. But beneath the sophistication and glamour their insecure and unhappy marriage is on the brink of divorce and their finances are teetering on a knife's edge after a series of failed films. When the creditors come in to take possession of the house, it seems all is lost and they have nowhere to turn but into the arms of their waiting lovers. But when they receive an invitation to one of the legendary weekend house parties at Hearst Castle - which they know will be filled every Hollywood big-shot around - they cannot resist one last shot of making it in the film industry. With gossip, glamour, scandal and decadence the party is the epitome of the Golden Era, but for Maximilian and Eleanor the time has come to make a decision that will change their future. Will they sacrifice everything for fame and fortune or can Eleanor and Maximilian learn to love each other again?
'The delicately constructed plot keeps you guessing until the end... Waugh creates the early Hollywood world with verve and conviction in this taut, clever and moving novel' TLS
'dazzlingly evoked' Sunday Times
'A lubricious new novel ... period charm and sexual intrigue'
'A dizzy tale about greed, love, fame and money.' **** HEAT
'Gripping, glamorous and poignant, it's a cracking tale that will keep you hooked from beginning to end'
'Sunset Boulevard meets Nancy Mitford'
'This reminded me of Liza Klaussmann's Tigers in Red Weather... a great companion piece for all the Gatsby fuss around this month... An absorbing, glamorous read.'
Viv Groskop, RED BOOK CLUB
'gripping... powerful, evocative'
'Waugh blends fact and fiction in an intoxicating tale of life under the glittering veneer of Tinsel Town' Daily Record
Publication date: 12/09/2013
Publisher: Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 28/03/2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
|Publication date:||12th September 2013|
|Publisher:||Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers|
|Genres:||Books of the Month, eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction, Reading Groups, Relationship Stories,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Daisy Waugh was our Guest Editor in September 2013 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing. Daisy Waugh is a journalist and travel writer. She has worked as an agony aunt and as a restaurant critic. She was a teacher at a girl’s school in Northern Kenya and has also written a weekly column from Los Angeles about her attempts to become a Hollywood scriptwriter. Daisy and her family of five live in London. Click here to read the 'Ask the Author' feature on Daisy Waugh. Author photo © Paul StuartMore About Daisy Waugh