Snapshots - #35: Marshall, American Made, The Glass Castle

The movies…
Marshall (♦♦♦♦): Black lawyer Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) is entrusted by the NCAAP to defend a black chauffeur (Sterling K. Brown) in Greenwich, CT, who has been accused of rape by his white employer. As Marshall is not allowed by the judge as legal counsel because he doesn't hold a CT license, he engages, reluctantly on both sides, the service of Jewish insurance lawyer Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), whom, with Marshall's help, will have to acquire criminal defense experience in a matter of months. But as the case is tried in court, it becomes evident that it is anything but cut and dry. Powerfully acted by Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, and Sterling K. Brown in the leading roles, Marshall treads a fine line between inspiring legal thriller and drama. On both counts it delivers in spades. Based on a true story, with race and bigotry fueling public opinion, before the apogee of the Civil Rights Movement, this accused black man is doomed from the start. A full century…

The Hollywood Daughter by Kate Alcott (♦♦♦)

Tween Jessica "Jesse" Malloy is the only daughter of Hollywood publicist Gabriel Malloy. Gabriel is the man in charge of promoting a relatively unknown Swedish cinematic beauty named Ingrid Bergman. As a Hollywood daughter, Jesse carpools to school with the children of other celebrities, soon getting acquainted with the somewhat reclusive Ingrid Bergman. As years pass by and Bergman’s fame grows, Jesse comes to idolize her, but Bergman’s fall from grace with the American public in 1950—when she falls in love with Italian film director Roberto Rossellini—causes Jesse to question her hero, and the religious faith she has been brought in.

In A Touch of Stardust, Kate Alcott conjured movie magic, but reading The Hollywood Daughter feels like a chore. It is an uninspired family drama played out against the heady times of Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s.

Rather than historical fiction, this is a coming of age story about a girl disappointed by the choices that Ingrid Bergman, her childhood hero, makes in real life. It is a pity that Kate Alcott squandered material that could have made for a juicy and entertaining novel a-la A Touch of Stardust. Instead, there is lots of name dropping and a story and characters that don't ring true.

DISCLAIMER: I received from the publisher a free e-galley of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Okay. So I won't add this one to my TBR list!

  2. I hate it when that happens. An author who disappoints me after having liked one of her earlier books.

    1. I know, but all can't be winners.

  3. What a shame. How disappointing for you.
    Lynn :D

    1. Yes. Too bad but I'm loving the one I'm reading now. You lose some, you gain some. ;-)

  4. Too bad, sounds like the premise had potential. I wonder if Alcott will write her next set in Hollywood again ...

    1. It had potential, but became too sentimental for my taste and didn't work in the end. If it had been exclusively about Ingrid Bergman, perhaps it would have been gold.


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