Have you ever wanted to run away from your life? Have you ever had a personal and professional disaster so large that you couldn’t ever imagine recovering from it? Well welcome to Lauren Summers life. Hollywood and the fashion industry are savage and unforgiving when it comes to ‘wardrobe malfunctions’ and when the brightest ‘innocent’ starlet of the moment suffers such a humiliation as she receives an award the backfire Lauren receives as the gown’s designer ends in the stunning silence of a two line text message as her boss fires her minutes later.
Blackballed from designing again in respectable circles Lauren finds a little job making costumes for a private high school’s theatre company and takes up residence in a run-down cottage in a secretive gated community- and tries to reassemble the remainders of her heart and her dreams.
Living in the gated community offers privacy, but isn’t without its challenges. The imposing figure of Charlotte Montgomery- a former starlet of another era looms large at the end of the lane. As time goes on it becomes clear to Lauren that Charlotte isn’t just an old woman with a prickly exterior- but is someone who has had her own personal disasters…that she is still running from.
Can common threads knit them together and bring about healing for them both?
If you are someone who knows me at all you know that I love classic film, and that I love historical costuming! What a treat is was to have the two laid out like a buffet throughout this book! Katherine Cushman paid attention to all the fine details of both the classic era of old Hollywood film, and to its signature luscious couture and created a book that is full of delicious descriptions! It was loads of fun for me to read about the gowns and costumes that Lauren was working on and every detail was vivid making me wish for a fairy godmother to bless me with someone to create such lovely things for me! ;)
Fading Starlight is not all about the dresses though it’s about the people that surround them. Miss Montgomery is a hurting woman with a bitter past that has taken more than her social standing- it took her will for living life and soured her on any who have dared to cross her path.
Lauren herself faces a crossroads as she looks at her own disappointments and decides what to do with the rest of her life. I liked that Lauren was so real in this story. She feels all that she is going through and feels it deeply, but she is also looking to God, and consistently and willingly seeks out the counsel and guidance of her second mother Rhonda’s wisdom. The cast of secondary characters from Lauren’s best friend Chloe, to Miss Montgomery’s housekeeper Frances, to the handy-man Cody are all important and delightful additions to Lauren’s life and story and I couldn’t help but like them!
One little thing that I liked was that this isn’t a romance story. While Chloe does her best to hook Lauren up with Cody and start something brewing Lauren recognizes that her life is in a bit of a shambles right now and is focused on getting herself where she needs to be personally before she begins any romance. I appreciated that perspective.
I highly recommend this book and enjoyed to so much! I will look for other titles from Ms. Cushman in the future!
Final Rating: 4.5
I have been given a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and opinion of the product.