Sister Stardust by Jane Green
GREEN'S FIRST WORK OF HISTORICAL FICTION: Sister Stardust, a novel based on the life of 60s counter-culture icon Talitha Getty, is Jane Green's biggest, most ambitious book yet. It marks a pivot in her career from women's fiction to general fiction and has the wide commercial appeal of Daisy Jones and the Six and Summer of '69
In her first novel inspired by a true story, New York Times bestselling author Jane Green reimagines the glamorous and tragic life of fashion icon and socialite Talitha Getty, for fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid and Paula McClain
Claire grew up in a small town, far from the glitz and glamour of London. Ridiculed by her stepmother Linda, and harboring a painful crush on her brother's best friend, she has begun to outgrow the life laid out before her. On the cusp of adulthood in the late 1960s, Claire yearns for the adventure and independence of a counter-culture taking root across the world.
One day a chance encounter leads to an unexpected opportunity. Whispers of a palace in Morocco. A getaway where famous artists, models, fashion designers and musicians--even the Rolling Stones-- have been known to visit.
When Claire arrives in Marrakesh, she's swept up in a heady world of music, drugs and communal living. But one magnetic young woman seems to hold sway over the entire scene. Talitha Getty, socialite wife of the famous oil heir, has pulled everyone from Yves Saint Laurent to Marianne Faithfull into her orbit. Yet when she meets Claire, the pair instantly connect. As they grow closer, and the inner circle tightens, the realities of Talitha's precarious life set off a chain of dangerous events that could alter Claire's life forever.
Bestselling author Jane Green's first work of biographical fiction breathes new life into a complicated fashion icon and the tumultuous world she inhabited. Page-turning, lush and luminously drawn, Sister Stardust is a transporting journey through a forgotten chapter of the swinging 60s by a beloved writer at the top of her game.
My love of reading as a young adult came when I discovered the author Jane Green, up until then reading was for GCSEs and A-Level purposes. When I stumbled upon Straight Talking I couldn't put the novel down and have read lots of her books since then. When I found out that Green had a new novel, a work of biographical fiction, I was very intrigued and knew I just had to read it.
Claire leaves Dorset and sets off for the bright lights of London, where famous people stroll the streets and modelling opportunities are just around the next corner. When Claire meets John and a group of his friends she cannot believe her luck when he introduces her to some famous rock stars. Claire's dream of rubbing shoulders with the famous starts to become a reality and she is quickly invited into this unique circle, introducing herself as Cece. Suddenly she finds herself flying to Marrakesh and meeting Talitha, a woman who is both breathtaking beautiful and living the high life; a life Cece finds herself being drawn to. However, the lifestyle of parties, drugs, alcohol and fame aren't all they are cracked up to be and Cece needs to decide whether to stay in Marrakesh or return to London where she has no job or home.
I completely got swept away with Cece's story; a country girl from Dorset becoming a groupie to the rich and famous, not having to worry about a job, money, food or clothing and being surrounded by those she idolised, I can see how she got caught up in it all. However, this lifestyle also has a much darker side which Green explored and exposed slowly as the story went along. I loved the contrasting characters within the novel: from the shop girls in London to the flamboyant, charming, arrogant and somewhat deranged musicians, fashion designers and stars she encounters. Claire's own transformation from the timid and innocent to the more confident Cece was a real joy to read. Green completely transported me to the hot sunshine of Marrakesh and the glamour of the late 1960s with her vivid descriptions and authentic feel to the novel.
I must admit I did have to google some of the characters to find out if they were a work of fiction or a real icon of the 60s. I was really intrigued by the Getty husband and wife duo and found myself researching them. I would have loved a couple of photos added to the pages or the back along with some information about some of these larger than life characters. I found Sister Stardust a fascinating story and loved that it featured 'real life' celebrities as well as powerful strong females. Green completely showcased the importance of the 1960s for women, what a revolutionary time. I adored the complex relationship of these female leads and was emotionally attached to them.
Many thanks to Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour, to Harper 360 UK for my gifted copy and to Jane Green for such an enjoyably read.
REVERED NYT BESTSELLING AUTHOR'S FIRST BOOK WITH HANOVER: Jane Green is the author of eighteen New York Times bestselling novels including The Beach House, Jemima J and Second Chance.