Sunday, December 12, 2010
The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard by Erin McGraw
This novel is about reinventing yourself, one of the classic themes of American literature. Freeing yourself from the horrible past, changing your identity. I completely enjoyed the opening, in which teenager Nell, suffocated by babies and a sod house and a crude drunken teenage husband enacts a detailed escape plan and then bolts! Slowly and carefully, Nell builds a life for herself in LA, as Madame Annelle, a “French” woman. Her ambition for success and security hits a wall as the past catches up with her. The novel fell apart at the end – it started to meander and the motivations became doubtful. Well crafted, but I think I mean that in a pejorative sense. Many characters, all distinctive. The passion is there, but at the end, the passion feels plotted.