Jean Harlow, the famous actress from the early days of talking pictures, was born Harlean Carpenter in the dull Midwest. As a girl she accompanied her mother to Hollywood on her mother's failed attempt at stardom. Now, seventeen years old and beautiful, Harlean has run off with her rich and handsome young husband. Madly in love, together they're enjoying the glamorous life of Hollywood, California.
Encouraged by friends and pushed by a dare, Harlean takes a chance at an acting career. With her sparkling personality and stunning blond hair, the actress Jean impresses the right people and catapults her right into acclaim and stardom.
But fame and success will come at a price.
Platinum Doll by Anne Girard introduces a cast of characters that graced the silver screen in the early, glamorous days of Hollywood. I spent so much time Googling the actors and actresses that I didn't immediately recognize and even watched old clips of Jean Harlow on YouTube. (Her earliest roll with Laurel and Hardy is a fun one to watch). I was actually surprised that the novel inspired so much interest in a subject that I've rarely cared about before. Jean Harlow really was a fascinating woman who gained so much success so quickly.
I liked that the novel focuses on her early life with her husband and her experiences starting out in Hollywood. Jean is manipulated and used by so many people around her. Her flamboyant and controlling mother is quite the character and adds a lot of drama to the story. Her experiences in early Hollywood were interesting and it was fun to peek behind the scenes of the classic movies.
However, as intrigued as I was with the story of Jean, I found myself skimming through chapter after chapter. The story moves slowly and gets bogged down in scenes and long conversations that don't successfully advance the plot or the emotion. Even in the dramatic scenes between Jean and her husband, the intensity of passion is lacking. Huge sections could have been cut right out.
Though there are issues with the writing, I did overall enjoy learning more about Jean Harlow in Platinum Doll by Anne Girard.
Platinum Doll by Anne Girard is published by MIRA and released on January 26, 2016.
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**I received a complimentary copy of Platinum Doll. All opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this review.**