The Hollywood Daughter by Kate Alcott (review by Kristi)

the hollywood daughter

About the book:  From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dressmaker and A Touch of Stardust, comes a Hollywood coming-of-age novel, in which Ingrid Bergman’s affair with Roberto Rossellini forces her biggest fan to reconsider everything she was raised to believe

In 1950, Ingrid Bergman—already a major star after movies like Casablanca and Joan of Arc—has a baby out of wedlock with her Italian lover, film director Roberto Rossellini. Previously held up as an icon of purity, Bergman’s fall shocked her legions of American fans.
Growing up in Hollywood, Jessica Malloy watches as her PR executive father helps make Ingrid a star at Selznick Studio. Over years of fleeting interactions with the actress, Jesse comes to idolize Ingrid, who she considered not only the epitome of elegance and integrity, but also the picture-perfect mother, an area where her own difficult mom falls short.
In a heated era of McCarthyism and extreme censorship, Ingrid’s affair sets off an international scandal that robs seventeen-year-old Jesse of her childhood hero. When the stress placed on Jesse’s father begins to reveal hidden truths about the Malloy family, Jesse’s eyes are opened to the complex realities of life—and love.
Beautifully written and deeply moving, The Hollywood Daughter is an intimate novel of self-discovery that evokes a Hollywood sparkling with glamour and vivid drama.

Kindle Edition, 320 pages                    Published March 7, 2017, by Doubleday


My review:  I enjoy stories about Old Hollywood and this book will be added to my list of favorites. A mix of unique characters and an interesting story set among the background of 1940’s Hollywood made this book a quick read.

I liked how the author combined fact and fiction in this book. She took the events of Ingrid Bergman’s life and created a story around it that tells about a young girl’s journey from childhood to young adulthood. I found it fascinating to read about the way that Ingrid was idolized and then torn down by the very fans who thought she was perfect. It was a unique look into the world of Hollywood and the way stars were treated in this time period.

There is a family dynamic to this story that I found interesting. I enjoyed reading how Jessica interacted with both of her parents. Her mother seemed to be a devout Catholic while her father could be described as a casual Catholic. The way the parents treated Jessica was different, too. Her mother seemed to be more strict and wanted Jessica to remain a child longer while the father wanted to treat her as more of a grownup.

The story has a good pace to it and was easy to get interested in and stay involved in from beginning to end. I loved all of the descriptions of the settings and the time period. It really added to the story and made me feel a part of it all.

Movie fans or fans of old Hollywood are sure to enjoy this story. It is easy to read and even more easy to enjoy. Definitely a book for the keeper shelf.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are mine.


About the author:  Kate Alcott is the pseudonym for journalist Patricia O’Brien, who has written several books, both fiction and nonfiction. As Kate Alcott, she is the author of The Dressmaker (a New York Times bestseller), The Daring Ladies of Lowell, and A Touch of Stardust. She lives in Washington, D.C

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