I would like to thank NetGalley and Doubleday Books for the ARC of “The Hollywood Daughter” by Kate Alcott.
The genres for this novel are historical fiction and women’s fiction.
The author introduces the Malloy family. Jessica is a child when we first meet her, and her idol is actress Ingrid Bergman. Jessica has seen and met with the actress. Jessica’s Dad is in Public Relations at a Hollywood studio representing Ingrid Bergman. Jessica is familiar with many of the Hollywood actors and actresses. Jessica’s mother is a devout Catholic and feels that going to Church is very important, and sends Jessica to Catholic school. Mr. and Mrs. Malloy are complicated and conflicted parents.
Jessica’s father arranges for Ingrid Bergman and cast to film one of her pictures at St. Annes, where Jessica attends school. Ingrid Bergman’s visit is one of the school’s highlights.
Kate Alcott discusses that McCarthyism and the threat of Communism causes problems in the Hollywood and acting community. Jessica is older and is aware that the church frowns on sin and movies that are “sinful”. She is aware that there is tension at home.
Around this timeline, Ingrid Bergman has an affair with Robert Rossellini, while she is still married. Mr. Malloy takes Jessica to Europe to try to get Ingrid Bergman to return to America. Ingrid Bergman is pregnant and doesn’t return.
This is problematic for the Malloy family. There is pressure from the church to renounce Ingrid Bergman and
her movies. The school takes the plague of recognition of the actress down, and anyone associated with Ingrid Bergman is looked on with disrespect. The actress doesn’t do any movies in America or come to America for years.
This is a turning point in Jessica’s life. Her hero is disgraced and Jessica questions the Churches decision, as well as the government that is condemning people who are called Communists. She also questions her parent’s beliefs.
Jessica leaves her faith in religion behind as she goes to College. After graduating, Jessica is writing for a Magazine in New York. Circumstances occur where Jessica has the opportunity to go back to Hollywood and Los Angeles to visit.
This visit causes conflicted Jessica to revisit her feelings about faith and herself. I find that the author describes
many of the conflicts of self-discovery, self-worth, high ideals, friendship, family, forgiveness,love, growth and hope.
I enjoyed reading about Hollywood and the famous actors and actresses, and would recommend this book. I liked the colorful way that Kate Alcott describes Hollywood .I also found this time in history intriguing and this brings many thoughts and questions to mind.