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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.
From the Hardcover edition.
[An] affecting coming of age novel...Alcott effectively uses Bergman’s 1950 fall from grace, seen through Jessica’s eyes... drawing in readers from the start with smooth writing. Her storytelling skillfully taps into Jessica’s black-and-white adolescent worldview and the distance she maintains from others as an adult, making both real—and surprisingly emotional.
Publishers Weekly“Alcott capably depicts the undercurrents of a family challenged by high stakes and hairpin career turns in the redbaiting blacklist era….The characters are appealing…and their earnestness and good will, in the face of all that trickiness, are poignant. A troubled era in America's past brought to life.Kirkus Reviews “Alcott capably depicts the undercurrents of a family challenged by high stakes and hairpin career turns in the redbaiting blacklist era….The characters are appealing…and their earnestness and good will, in the face of all that trickiness, are poignant. A troubled era in America's past brought to life.Kirkus Reviews A vivid portrait of the turbulent times and the heartbreak of real people underneath all the glamour of 1940s Hollywood. Young Jesse Malloy is a compelling guide to the era and her connection to the beautiful Ingrid Bergman forms an integral part of Jesse's search for the truth about her own childhood. Brimming with all the sparkle of old Hollywood and all the heart and honesty of a true coming-of-age story.Helen Simonson, New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Before the WarKate Alcott crafts an engrossing coming of age tale that cleverly portrays both the seductive glamour and moral hypocrisy of 1940's Hollywood. Told through the eyes of an idealistic young heroine whose own loyalties are divided, the story of Ingrid Bergman's very public rise and fall from grace deftly mirrors the changing female identity of a nation and offers timely reminders on the dangers of censorship, intolerance, and institutionalized sexism.Kathleen Tessaro, New York Times Bestselling author of The Perfume Collector I was swept along by this story; Kate Alcott has crafted a masterpiece with this novel, writing with grace and lyricism about the golden age of Hollywood and a young girl living on the periphery of a glittering world. Alcott manages to keep Ingrid Bergman just ethereal enough to maintain the allure the starlet was known for, while bringing Bergman's human longings to the surface. It is a breathtakingly tender exploration of faith, fame, growing up and letting go.Victoria Kelly, author of Mrs. Houdini
“I was swept along by this story; Kate Alcott has crafted a masterpiece with this novel.”
Victoria Kelly, author of Mrs. Houdini