Seeing Stars – Diane Hammond

Mother and Daughter leave their quiet existence in the Pacific Northwest for Hollywood.  Ruth believes with conviction that her daughter Berthy has talent.  So they leave and move temporarily to Hollywood to see if her dreams can be visualized.  But what they come up against is one of determination, many rejections, questioning their decisions.  Will they decide to stay and tough it out, or will they pack up, go home, least to say they gave it a try.

Hollywood for children is one of those crazy existences.  From the time they arrive, it is nothing but rehearsals, classes,auditions, call backs, as well as coaching and a whole different type of people.  When in Hollywood, if you aren’t strong you will be eaten alive, and not given a second thought.  Does Bethy have the skills? Will she become famous.  Is she doing this for herself or for her mother that has given up her peaceful life up so that her daughter can.

During the storyline, you will meet the manager, the agent, the other actors/actresses that Bethy befriends, or at least she thinks she does.  Behind those facades it is a deep and dark.  One is a closet cutter who is living with the manager because her parents don’t want her at home.  The male teenager who is coming to terms if he is gay or not.  The others who can just turn on the charm and acting abilities at the flick of a switch.  When the switch is off, well, that is a different story of doubt, low self-esteem, jealousy, and quite often depression.

I liked Diane’s writing.  I have read her previous novel Hannah’s Dream and fell in love.  This is quite the opposite from Hannah’s for sure.  The writing was impeccable as always, it was such a different topic for sure.  Hollywood being one of those make or break places, where you are judged quite quickly on your talent.  No muss, no fuss.  But then again I guess they have to be that way mainly because there are so many people who are trying to enter the world of entertainment and become famous.

It was a good book to get an idea about how it would be if you wanted to enter your child into the entertainment business.  I also liked the decision that Bethy made near the end of the novel, showed that she had real maturity and grace.  I hope you will too.

I can’t say this is a favorite book, but Diane is still a favorite writer.


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4 thoughts on “Seeing Stars – Diane Hammond

  1. When I wrote this book, I knew that one of its biggest challenges would be its place on the opposite end of the sweet-book spectrum from “Hannah’s Dream.” And I missed some of that sweetness as I wrote about this much grittier subject. The book was informed by my family’s own experiences in Hollywood from 2005-2007, where we had gone to give my 14-year-old daughter a chance at being a professional actor. My daughter’s not in the book, nor are her own specific experiences, but the rest was certainly based on what we saw and, in some cases, did. And none of that was sweet. So thank you for sticking with me through this very different reading experience! Hopefully others will feel as you do.

  2. I hope so as well Diane ! I absolutely fell in love with Hannah’s Dream. I am eagerly anticipating your next book. Thank you for coming by and leaving a comment.

  3. I love books where characters grow and learn and change. It sounds like this is especially good in Bethy’s case. I appreciate your honest review!

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