THE HIDDEN LIFE OF ASTER KELLY by Katherine A. Sherbrooke
When a runway model in 1940s Hollywood makes a split-second decision designed to protect those she loves, she triggers a web of lies that threaten to upend her daughter’s life decades later.
After winning a prestigious fashion design contest in 1948, Aster Kelly flees the world of modeling in New York and arrives in Beverly Hills to claim her prize: a design apprenticeship with Fernando Tivoli. But Fernando has no such job available. He’s busily preparing for the opportunity of his lifetime—proving to Galaxy Studios that he is the perfect couturier for their A-list stars. The moment he meets Aster, though, he knows she’s the missing ingredient he needs and asks her to be his stand-in model for Lauren Bacall. Aster is dismayed to once again xhave her creative potential sidelined, but when Fernando promises to mentor her if he wins the business, she agrees.
Aster and Fernando quickly become entangled with Hollywood insiders—Aster with the head of Galaxy Studios, Fernando with their biggest up-and-coming star, Christopher Page—and their friendship becomes essential as they navigate a glamorous and complicated existence where what’s real must often be hidden, and nothing is quite what it seems. As Aster’s ambitions grow and she faces a crisis, and Fernando’s future becomes threatened by the Hollywood machine, Aster makes a decision that changes the trajectory of their lives forever.
Twenty five years later, despite knowing little of her mother’s time in Hollywood and being raised well outside the reaches of fame, Aster’s daughter Lissy is poised to become a Broadway star. But when the musical gets off to a rocky start, Lissy makes a rash decision of her own in attempt to save the show. And when long-buried secrets blindside them both, mother and daughter are forced to question everything they thought they knew.
The Hidden Life of Aster Kelly is a story about the bonds of chosen family, the cost of fame and the enduring strength of love that will keep you guessing until the last page.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
When I was a kid, I wanted nothing more than to be a writer, but I thought it required a “gift” that was offered only to a chosen few, a bit of magic that for some reason hadn’t been unlocked for me. It took me a long time to understand that writing is a craft. It takes practice and dedication and can be learned by anyone with an inclination toward stories who is willing to put word after word onto the page, delete what doesn’t work, relentlessly revise, and continue to write on. I have GrubStreet (www.grubstreet.org) to thank for this lesson, and for its beautiful community of writers that support each other through what can sometimes feel like a harrowing task.
I started my career as an entrepreneur, and thought I was on a break between start-ups when I sat down to put my parent’s turbulent love story on paper. Four books later, I haven’t looked back. The chance to dive into the subconscious day after day has been a true gift. The process of putting the work into the world can be terrifying, but my writing partner (see photo) reminds me every day that pretty much anything can be solved with an enthusiastic wag, a crunchy bowl of food and a nap. OK, a glass of wine helps too, but who am I to argue?
When I’m not writing, I spend time trying to repay some of what GrubStreet has given me by serving as the Chair of the Board (#luckyagain). I also love to travel, enjoy all things food, wine and art related, and am revived by walks with an ocean view and the company of close friends.
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