Three friends Irene, Millie and Henry decide to take off for the Hollywood to try and make their mark in what are called ‘flickers’in 1921. It’s old Hollywood and you chances of becoming a star are not easy. They have very little money and no plan. They are able to find cheap lodging and start their dream of becoming famous. You do what you can to get a job at a studio and then hope for more.
Irene gets into the typing pool. Henry gets a job as a tailor assistant. And Millie works the lot benches trying to be an extra in movies. Each has varying success. Henry ends up becoming an extra and he rugged good looks land him leading man roles. Henry also has a secret that doesn’t fit in the times. So he has to keep it on the down low. Irene becomes friends with an actress who also writes and soon Irene is helping her write and writing her own screenplays, which are being used.
Millie has it toughest. She soon finds out what the casting couch is about (in an indirect way). She also finds out the effects on drugs and is on a slow downward turn trying to make it. Her friends are worried and try to help her get her act together when she finds herself with the worst problem she could have.
It’s a fascinating novel full of great characters, a look at old Hollywood and the times then. You had to live a clean, scandal free live and that wasn’t always the case with stars. That’s where studio PR people came in. There was no social media then but the scandal sheets were around. Author Juliette Fay has done her homework and has written a realistic look at the time and trying to make it in a town that can chew you up and spit you out.
You can pick up City Of Flickering Light in stores on Tuesday, April 16th from Gallery.