Monday, February 2, 2009

"The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard"

Had read a bit about this book in our local newspaper and thought the title was intriguing so I ordered the book from Barnes & Noble. It is a fascinating look at the early 20th century and the development of Los Angeles along with Hollywood. Young girls flee their families and farms in search of a dream. The main character is a young girl named Nell who is unhappily married at a young age (17) with 2 infants. She has worked on her parents farm and then on her husband's family's farm in rural Kansas. It is a hard life. Her only skill is sewing in which she excels. A visiting preacher tells her about California and she dreams of a better life for herself. Sewing for the town folk, she saves enough money to buy a train ticket to Los Angeles. Then she runs away from her husband and children. The story continues for the next 20+ years as she marries again and has another child. She sews for the high society ladies of Los Angeles and ends up with a job at Universal Studios where is a costumer. Just when her future is the brightest, her 2 older daughters turn up on her doorstep and turns her world upside down. The story does not have a happy ending. In fact, it leaves you wanting more from this author. According to the excerpt, the story is based on the author's grandmother's life. The author is Erin McGraw. I loved the book and read it over a weekend. Maybe there will be a sequel. I certainly hope so.

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