The Limits of Limelight
by Margaret Porter
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 14 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 14 Sep 2021
From the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of Beautiful Invention: A Novel of Hedy Lamarr and a dozen more historical novels, the true story of an observant young woman’s quest for achievement and recognition.
“A time capsule of Hollywood's Golden Era . . . a captivating novel of Tinsel Town's perils and pitfalls, trade-offs and triumphs!”—Leslie Carroll, author of American Princess
Pretty Oklahoma teenager Helen Nichols accepts an invitation from her cousin, rising movie actress Ginger Rogers, and her Aunt Lela, to try her luck in motion pictures. Her relatives, convinced that her looks and personality will ensure success, provide her with a new name and help her land a contract with RKO. As Phyllis Fraser, she swiftly discovers that Depression-era Hollywood’s surface glamour and glitter obscure the ceaseless struggle of the hopeful starlet.
Lela Rogers, intensely devoted to her daughter and her niece, outwardly accepting of her stage mother label, is nonetheless determined to establish her reputation as screenwriter, stage director, and studio talent scout. For Phyllis, she’s an inspiring model of grit and persistence in an industry run by men.
While Ginger soars to the heights of stardom in musicals with Fred Astaire, Phyllis is tempted by a career more fulfilling than the one she was thrust into. Should she continue working in films, or devote herself to the profession she’s dreamed about since childhood? Which choice might lead her to the lasting love that seems so elusive?
"Based on a true story....A witty and meticulously researched treat."—Kirkus Reviews
"An engrossing glimpse into a bygone era and the forces affecting a young woman's evolution into her own abilities and adulthood....Just the right blend of action to keep it vigorous and involving to the end."—Midwest Book Review
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 20 members
This is the first book of Margaret Porter’s that I have read and it definitely won’t be the last. This work of historical fiction had me gripped from start to finish and turning pages at lightening speed. The story focuses on Ginger Rogers – yes that Ginger Rogers, her mother Lela and her cousin Phyllis. The book was well written, with good pacing, good flow and well-developed characters. I would highly recommend this book.
Thanks to NetGalley and Gallica Press for a preview copy of this book for my honest opinion. This was a thoroughly enjoyable story, focusing on the life and times of Ginger Rogers and her cousin Helen. Based on fact, and narrated mainly from the perspective of cousin Helen, it focuses on Ginger’s rise from a chorus ‘hoofer’ to Hollywood star and incredible dance partner of Fred Astaire. Ginger’s career success owes a lot to the tenacity of her Mother Lela, a very supportive and ambitious lady, who also tries to launch her niece Helen as a movie star with slightly less success. The story is full of ups and downs, some sadness, lots of Hollywood glitz and glamour from a bygone era. Highly recommend.
If you are a classic movie fan, this book is definitely one to read! "The Limits of Limelight" focuses on the golden age of Hollywood as Ginger Rogers is moving up the ranks to movie stardom. Her mother, Lela, is the mother in charge and is as clever as she is smart. Ginger and Lela decide to take their niece and cousin, Helen, back to Hollywood with them after a visit to Oklahoma City. Helen is lovely. sixteen, and Lela also has plans for her to catapult to stardom like Ginger. Being a classic movie fan myself, I was familiar with every movie star mentioned. I could visualize each one. Margaret Porter has written a wonderful book and I highly recommend it! Thank you to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for the ARC.