City of Flickering Light

City of Flickering Light

Juliette Fay—“one of the best authors of women’s fiction” (Library Journal)—transports us back to the Golden Age of Hollywood and the raucous Roaring Twenties, as three friends struggle to earn their places among the stars of the silent screen—perfect for fans of La La Land and Rules of Civility. It’s July 1921, “flickers” are all the rage, and Irene Van Beck has just decl...

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Title:City of Flickering Light
Author:Juliette Fay
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Edition Language:English

City of Flickering Light Reviews

  • Katharine

    When I first received this book I set it aside, thinking it wasn't for me, but after

    "pressed it into my hands" (as the hosts of

    would say), I decided to give it a try. And I'm SO glad I did! It might be the book that finally convinces me historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine.

    I was immediately captured by the glitter of 1920s Hollywood and was totally absorbed by the story of these three friends. It's somewhat predictable, but I found comfort in that and

    When I first received this book I set it aside, thinking it wasn't for me, but after

    "pressed it into my hands" (as the hosts of

    would say), I decided to give it a try. And I'm SO glad I did! It might be the book that finally convinces me historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine.

    I was immediately captured by the glitter of 1920s Hollywood and was totally absorbed by the story of these three friends. It's somewhat predictable, but I found comfort in that and thoroughly enjoyed just being along for the ride. Millie, Henry, and Irene will stick with my for a long time.

    Thank you to Gallery for my copy. All opinions are my own.

  • Cindy Burnett

    4.5 stars

    Juliette Fay’s new novel about Golden Age Hollywood is a gem from start to finish. Fay clearly did her research and includes cameos from a variety of famous silent film stars and others involved in the early “flickers” business. I highly, highly recommend this novel especially if you love this era in Hollywood.

  • Jen

    🎥Oh, how I enjoyed reading this book! The glitz! The glam! Hollywood in the 1920’s! 🎥

    It’s the Roaring Twenties, and “flickers” are all the rage. Three friends, stuck in a bad situation, plot their way out and make a break for Hollywood. These friends support one another as they try to make their way in Tinseltown, yearning for their big breaks.

    I loved the old glam. I loved the history of early Hollywood. I was reading this on my lunch break at school and when the bell rang, I had to get my bear

    🎥Oh, how I enjoyed reading this book! The glitz! The glam! Hollywood in the 1920’s! 🎥⁣⁣

    ⁣⁣

    It’s the Roaring Twenties, and “flickers” are all the rage. Three friends, stuck in a bad situation, plot their way out and make a break for Hollywood. These friends support one another as they try to make their way in Tinseltown, yearning for their big breaks. ⁣⁣

    ⁣⁣

    I loved the old glam. I loved the history of early Hollywood. I was reading this on my lunch break at school and when the bell rang, I had to get my bearings because I was so caught up in the time period. I love a good underdog story and there were plenty here to root for. A beautiful story of friendship and quest for fame, set in a remarkable time period. Thank you @gallerybooks for this advance reader in exchange for my honest review!⁣⁣

  • Laura//lauralovestoread Gelinas

    I really liked The City of Flickering Light. As a fan of historical fiction, I loved the old Hollywood storyline and it was reminiscent of The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin which I enjoyed. I was immersed in the lives of Irene, Millie, and Henry, and how their friendship got them through hard times of poverty, pain, and heartache. I love a good story with a strong friendship theme.

  • Juli

    It all starts in 1921 when Irene Van Beck and her two friends, Millie and Henry, jump from a moving train. They were tired of life with a travelling burlesque show...low pay, abuse, constant moving around. The three friends find their way to Hollywood, dreaming of a new life acting in "flickers.'' Turns out, Hollywood glamour is an illusion hiding a seedy underside. The friends experience hunger, disappointment, and loss while trying to make it big in tinseltown.

    I love tales of Old Hollywood, so

    It all starts in 1921 when Irene Van Beck and her two friends, Millie and Henry, jump from a moving train. They were tired of life with a travelling burlesque show...low pay, abuse, constant moving around. The three friends find their way to Hollywood, dreaming of a new life acting in "flickers.'' Turns out, Hollywood glamour is an illusion hiding a seedy underside. The friends experience hunger, disappointment, and loss while trying to make it big in tinseltown.

    I love tales of Old Hollywood, so jumped on the chance to read an early copy of this book by Juliette Fay. So many hopefuls have gone to Hollywood in the past 100 years....only to learn that competition is killer and the lifestyle is a soul-sucking experience. Many seek the glamour and fame...but few ever find it. These three friends experience so much together after jumping off that train...and the story is mesmerizing. It's like a peek behind the curtain into the dark shadows behind the glamour of Old Hollywood. Once I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down!!

    This is the first book by Juliette Fay that I've read. I've added her book about the Vaudeville era, The Tumbling Turner Sisters, to my TBR stack!

    **I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Gallery Books via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  • marilyn

    In July 1921, burlesque dancers Irene Van Beck and Millie Martin, and the burlesque comedian Henry Weiss jump off a moving train as their first step of escaping the clutches of their burlesque show boss and making their way to Hollywood for their chance at hitting it big in Tinseltown. Having barely survived life in a burlesque, making no money, getting little food, and risking beatings from the boss, on the scalp, to prevent bruises showing on their bodies while stripping, Irene and Millie had

    In July 1921, burlesque dancers Irene Van Beck and Millie Martin, and the burlesque comedian Henry Weiss jump off a moving train as their first step of escaping the clutches of their burlesque show boss and making their way to Hollywood for their chance at hitting it big in Tinseltown. Having barely survived life in a burlesque, making no money, getting little food, and risking beatings from the boss, on the scalp, to prevent bruises showing on their bodies while stripping, Irene and Millie had no where further down to go than to become prostitutes. Irene was going to leave by herself but Millie reminded her of her late sister so she was taking her with her and this was their chance to escape the horrid life they were living. Henry realized they were getting ready to jump off the train and followed them since he considered them his only friends. Together this trio becomes a "family" of sorts, looking out for each other and sharing whatever they had, in a chance for them to all survive and thrive in Hollywood.

    With the town overflowing with other hopefuls ready to do anything for a job or any kind of break, they face a life of continued poverty and rejection. A person has to stand out in Hollywood to get anywhere and even then there are hundreds more standing in line behind you if you make a misstep. I enjoyed reading how this trio used their looks, imagination, and wits to finagle jobs and later better living quarters, as they worked their way into writing for or acting in silent pictures. I liked the characters of Irene, Millie, and Henry and especially liked their loyalty to each other, not allowing one to continue to suffer when another of them began earning money and the security of a job. That security could change in a second though due to prejudges so prevalent in that time.

    I grew up watching black and white old westerns, some barely into the talkie stage and have probably seen most of them that were on TV over the decades. There is so much history of early movie making, during the time that silent movies were on the verge of becoming talking movies and this book name drops so many names that I remember reading about over the years. Each chapter starts with a quote from famous Hollywood names and I could probably read a book of just quotes and enjoy it, but in this book we get to learn what is behind the quotes, how things really were, under the fake glamour and glitz of the silver screen.

    Thank you Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books and NetGalley for this ARC.

  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    Irene Van Beck has had enough of working for a traveling burlesque show. She has a plan, and together with fellow dancer Millie Martin, she is ready to start a new life. Tagging along with them is comedian Henry Weiss, and soon they are off to Hollywood on the next train. However, there it is one thing to dream about finding fame in Hollywood; it's a different thing in real life. Just finding a paying job is hard enough, but Irene, Millie, and Henry won't give up, and they have each other to rel

    Irene Van Beck has had enough of working for a traveling burlesque show. She has a plan, and together with fellow dancer Millie Martin, she is ready to start a new life. Tagging along with them is comedian Henry Weiss, and soon they are off to Hollywood on the next train. However, there it is one thing to dream about finding fame in Hollywood; it's a different thing in real life. Just finding a paying job is hard enough, but Irene, Millie, and Henry won't give up, and they have each other to rely on.

  • ❀⊱RoryReads⊰❀

    3.5 Stars. Review to follow.

  • Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)

    ***NOW AVAILABLE***

    The premise for this book was intriguing; a look at the world of the early “flickers” and the flood of young men and women to Hollywood to try to make their way as actors. As in all things in life, things are not always as they appear, this too is the case in Hollywoodland, as it was called then.

    Our journey to old Hollywood starts when three friends, Irene Van Beck, Millie Martin and Henry Weiss, jump from a moving train! They had been part of a traveling burlesque show and w

    ***NOW AVAILABLE***

    The premise for this book was intriguing; a look at the world of the early “flickers” and the flood of young men and women to Hollywood to try to make their way as actors. As in all things in life, things are not always as they appear, this too is the case in Hollywoodland, as it was called then.

    Our journey to old Hollywood starts when three friends, Irene Van Beck, Millie Martin and Henry Weiss, jump from a moving train! They had been part of a traveling burlesque show and were tired of the constant traveling and the very cold hearted man who ran the show, paid then little and was abusive.

    All three start to sit outside the studio lots day after day, hoping for a casting call for extras. Henry, with his handsome good looks, is the first to find a job as an extra and helps to pay for the “boarding houses where they stay. Room and board is expensive and there are always those out there who are more than ready to cram up to six girls in a room and serve them cabbage soup at almost every meal.

    Irene is the next to find a job, but as a typist. Luckily for her she had this skill and it will eventually lead her into re-writing scripts and early manuscripts for playwrights. The reader will discover whether she will indeed end up writing a script that someone will pay her for.

    Millie is a sweet, beautiful, but incredibly naive young woman who finds herself being “taken advantage of” by a hateful, bullying, director, and even falls prey to drug use. Irene and Henry constantly feel the need to take care of Millie as she tries to find a way to make a living.

    The book shines a light on so many things about early Hollywood. There is the abuse of young starlets, homophobia, anti-semitism and drug use. Heroin at this time was easily available and even thought not to be addictive as morphine.

    My problem with this book was that there were really no surprises. Everything that I thought would happen to these characters, did happen. The plot was predictable as were the actions of the characters in many instances. I also have read other books about this time so there wasn’t much new here for me.

    What I did enjoy was the author’s use of quotes from actors and others in the movie business. Here is one I particularly enjoyed “There are five stages in the life of an actor: Who is Mary Astor? Get me Mary Astor. Get me a Mary Astor type. Get me a young Mary Astor. Who’s Mary Astor? “

    This is a well written enjoyable read, particularly if you haven’t read anything about this era before.

    I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss.

  • Amy

    : 2.5 Stars

    For a book that is 400 pages, it took me a little more than 2 weeks to finish it. Which is never a good sign.

    This book was huge disappointment for me. Not because its a bad book because its not. Its well written and well researched, but ultimately, I could not connect with this.

    In theory, this book should have been a slam dunk for me.

    1. I've read this author before and I

    enjoyed that book. I read

    back in 2016 and it remains one of my fa

    : 2.5 Stars

    For a book that is 400 pages, it took me a little more than 2 weeks to finish it. Which is never a good sign.

    This book was huge disappointment for me. Not because its a bad book because its not. Its well written and well researched, but ultimately, I could not connect with this.

    In theory, this book should have been a slam dunk for me.

    1. I've read this author before and I

    enjoyed that book. I read

    back in 2016 and it remains one of my favorite books.

    2. Its about old Hollywood... WHO AMONG US DOES NOT LOVE OLD HOLLYWOOD GOSSIP?!

    Alas, if I had a nickel for each time a book, in theory,

    have blown me away but didn't -I'd have a lot of nickels.

    In July 1920, 3 friends Irene Van Beck, Millie Martin, and Henry Weiss make a break from their life in a traveling burlesque show to take a chance making it in Hollywood.

    At the same time, Hollywood in the 1920s is iridescent, scandalous, and utterly exhilarating—and the three friends yearn for a life they could only have dreamed of before. But despite the glamour of Tinseltown, success doesn’t come easy, and nothing can prepare Irene, Millie, and Henry for the poverty, temptation, and heartbreak that lie ahead.

    I liked the idea of the story - Old Hollywood and gossip. But unfortunately, I just didn't care about anything that was going on.

    I liked the characters fine. But I couldn't connect with any of them. I need to connect with the characters of a book to really enjoy it. I can appreciated a well written and well researched book (which this absolutely is), but if I can't wait to get to at least one of the character's stories then... What is there for me?

    I also found the tie in with her previous

    to be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the character I really connected with on that one was not the one we follow.

    I like the format of including a quote from a famous player of the time at the beginning of the chapters to be a fun little detail to include. I love quotes and it was a fun opportunity to look up old Hollywood starlets and power players to see who is who.

    You know, until it completely spoils what is happening in the story, which takes a lot of the anticipation out of it. Why carry on when I already

    what's going to go down?

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