Wednesday, November 4, 2015

All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani Book Review

Title: All the Stars in the Heavens
Date Published: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Harper
Pages: 464
Format: Paperback
Source: TLC Book Tours


Adriana Trigiani, the New York Times bestselling author of the blockbuster epic The Shoemaker's Wife, returns with her biggest and boldest novel yet, a hypnotic tale based on a true story and filled with her signature elements: family ties, artistry, romance, and adventure. Born in the golden age of Hollywood, All the Stars in the Heavens captures the luster, drama, power, and secrets that could only thrive in the studio system—viewed through the lives of an unforgettable cast of players creating magic on the screen and behind the scenes.

In this spectacular saga as radiant, thrilling, and beguiling as Hollywood itself, Adriana Trigiani takes us back to Tinsel Town's golden age—an era as brutal as it was resplendent—and into the complex and glamorous world of a young actress hungry for fame and success. With meticulous, beautiful detail, Trigiani paints a rich, historical landscape of 1930s Los Angeles, where European and American artisans flocked to pursue the ultimate dream: to tell stories on the silver screen.

The movie business is booming in 1935 when twenty-one-year-old Loretta Young meets thirty-four-year-old Clark Gable on the set of The Call of the Wild. Though he's already married, Gable falls for the stunning and vivacious young actress instantly.

Far from the glittering lights of Hollywood, Sister Alda Ducci has been forced to leave her convent and begin a new journey that leads her to Loretta. Becoming Miss Young's secretary, the innocent and pious young Alda must navigate the wild terrain of Hollywood with fierce determination and a moral code that derives from her Italian roots. Over the course of decades, she and Loretta encounter scandal and adventure, choose love and passion, and forge an enduring bond of love and loyalty that will be put to the test when they eventually face the greatest obstacle of their lives.

Anchored by Trigiani's masterful storytelling that takes you on a worldwide ride of adventure from Hollywood to the shores of southern Italy, this mesmerizing epic is, at its heart, a luminous tale of the most cherished ties that bind. Brimming with larger-than-life characters both real and fictional—including stars Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy, David Niven, Hattie McDaniel and more—it is it is the unforgettable story of one of cinema's greatest love affairs during the golden age of American movie making.

I have been a fan of Adriana's as far back as the Big Stone Gap series. When I saw that this book was up for review I wanted to see if the author kept true to the writing style I loved. And thankfully, she did.

Writing historical fiction is truly an art. This is not a genre I used to enjoy, but it has turned into one of my favorites. The author did some digging to not only stay true to her characters, but to make them believable, as she focused on two very well known actors.

The star of this book is Loretta Young. She loves not one, but two men, Spencer Tracy ad Clark Gable. Both men are already married and to have a relationship will be an uneasy task. To find an author willing to delve into the glory of old Hollywood was a treat. To read her take on Loretta and her escapades was very enjoyable.

But, the part of the book that drew me in was the story of her secretary Alda. Alda is going to be a nun, and works at a home for unmarried pregnant women. But, she is reassigned as Loretta's secretary. And the story that unfolds here is beautifully told as we watch her blossom and form bonds with the other women.

A very well told tale of Hollywood royalty, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Adriana Trigiani is an award-winning playwright, television writer, and documentary filmmaker. Her books include the New York Times bestseller The Shoemaker's Wife; the Big Stone Gap series; Very Valentine; Brava, Valentine; Lucia, Lucia; and the bestselling memoir Don't Sing at the Table, as well as the young adult novels Viola in Reel Life and Viola in the Spotlight. She wrote the screenplay for Big Stone Gap, which she also directed. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter. 

Visit Adriana at her website:, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. Alda sounds like quite an interesting character!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.