Book review: Whisper of the Moon Moth by Jayne Ashford

  • Title and author:  Whisper of the Moon Moth by Jayne Ashford
  • Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing
  • Date released:  October 1, 2017
  • Pages:  352
  • Genre:  Biographical | historical fiction

SYNOPSIS:

For nineteen-year-old Estelle Thompson, going to the cinema is more than a way to pass the time…it’s a way out. In 1931 in Calcutta, Anglo-Indian girls like Estelle are considered half-breeds, shunned by both English and Indian society. Her only escape is through the silver screen, where she can forget the world around her.

When Estelle catches the eye of a dashing American heir with connections to a major motion-picture studio, he also captures her heart. Soon, Estelle has a one-way ticket to London and a recommendation for a screen test.

To get to the top, she must keep her Indian heritage concealed—and so begins her new identity as movie goddess Merle Oberon. But just as her dreams are poised to come true, she discovers that her own family is keeping a much more shocking secret from her—one that changes everything she’s believed about her past.

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Meet the author:  Raised in Wolverhampton, UK, Lindsay Jayne Ashford became the first woman to graduate from Queens’ College, Cambridge in its 550 year history. She gained a degree in Criminology and was employed as a reporter for the BBC before becoming a freelance journalist, writing for a number of national magazines and newspapers.

Lindsay began her career as a novelist with a contemporary crime series featuring forensic psychologist Megan Rhys. She moved into the historical genre with ‘The Mysterious Death of Miss Jane Austen’, and her two most recent books, ‘The Color of Secrets’ and ‘The Woman on the Orient Express’ blend real events with fiction and are set in the first half of the twentieth century.  She has four children and divides her time between a house overlooking the sea on the west coast of Wales and a small farmhouse in Spain’s Sierra de Los Filabres. When she is not writing she is a volunteer with the charity Save the Children. She also enjoys kayaking and walking her dog – a Border Terrier.

Connect with the author:   Amazon author profile

MY REVIEW:

An absorbing fictional and biographical account about Merle Oberon (formerly Estelle Thompson) who had to hide her Anglo-Indian ancestry in order to break into the narrow-minded and bigoted film industry in England and then later Hollywood. Not a completely accurate account, the author describes the fictional liberties she took with both Merle and the other characters in the book.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the book was entertaining and had me constantly googling the characters and places that were mentioned in the book and I was able to sort out fiction from fact.

A fun read for anyone who loves Hollywood stories with a bit of fantasy and intrigue thrown in.