What a true joy and privilege it is to be blog touring today, not only for the fantastic Jane Green, but also for a book that I feel has taken her into a completely new realm in her writing journey.
I’ve enjoyed all of Jane Green’s previous books, but I really didn’t want Sister Stardust to end. And this wasn’t just because I knew the end would be a tragic one! This historical fiction story, based on the life of ’60’s icon Talitha Getty, wife of oil heir Paul Getty is a rich tapestry that draws the reader into the heady (and indeed, exceedingly hedonistic) life of Talitha and her inner circle as they languish in her Marrakech palace seemingly not doing much, other than throwing extravagant parties and making use of a staggering amount of mind-altering substances!
The story is told by Claire, and it starts off as she’s reminiscing with her daughter Tally, while they’re going through items in the attic. Tally comes across a chest filled with stuff that she just can’t reconcile with the Mother who she thinks she knows so well! (Ha, ha – our kids all think we were born old!)
Claire tells her daughter about when she was a teenager, living in Dorset in the ’60’s and that her father had remarried. Suffice to say that her relationship with his wife was not good! But who knew where all the criticism and back-biting would eventually lead?! Eventually Claire is forced to leave home, much sooner than she’d intended. She heads off to the bright lights of London. Needless to say, she didn’t find fame and fortune overnight, but she did learn a thing or two, especially how to toughen up and look after herself, even though she still managed to maintain an element of her small-town innocence. Even though she swore she’d never return home, she agrees to go back for her beloved brother’s 21st birthday. Their step-mother has taken over the organisation of his party and instead of the fun, relaxed get-together he’d prefer, she’s invited a bunch of staid old fuddy-duddys.
But Claire has other plans, and through her life in London, has met some people with contacts in the music business. She promises her brother that he’ll have the party of his dreams! That night becomes the turning point in Claire’s life that leads her to places she never imagined even existed, with people she’d never dreamed of meeting. It introduced her to a lifestyle she’d always thought was way out of her reach. It lead her to Talitha Getty, and Claire became CeCe.
Jane Green adeptly weaves together fact and fiction, reality and fantasy as real-life personalities from the past mingle comfortably with fictional characters in this exotic Marrakech playground. The reader gets a full technicolour picture (I could possibly describe it as “a full trip”) of the ’60’s experience, and at the centre of it all is Talitha … the one who everyone is enraptured and enthralled by, and nobody more than CeCe, who becomes her close friend and ally, believing that she’s able to break through all the fakery that Talitha puts on for all the hangers-on, to get to the core of who she really is. But will she be able to lift her out of the darkness that she’s inevitably trying to escape from, or will Talitha drag CeCe down with her, and the rest of her high-flying crowd?
I absolutely adored this book! I felt like I was right there, living every crazy, colourful moment! It far surpassed my expectations! And of course, I then went and did a whole bunch of research afterwards. All fascinating! It’s a definite 5-star read (I’d give it more if I could), and I’d recommend taking a look at the gorgeous @sisterstardustt Instagram page too!
Thank you to Random Things Tours for this blog tour. Take a look at what other bloggers are saying about Sister Stardust …