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