SUCH A PRETTY GIRL by T. Greenwood is the first book I’ve read by this author. It will not be the last. And she’s written fourteen novels. Holy cow.
This novel has something for everyone. And it’s definitely timely. It just goes to show that things might change over the years, but, they also stay the same.
Award-winning author T. Greenwood explores the often-flickering line between woman and girl in this vividly lyrical drama alternating between an West Village artists community in 1970s New York and present day, as a former child actress is forced to confront the darkest secrets of her youth when a controversial photo taken of her as a preteen on the night of the 1977 blackout ignites a media firestorm.
Living peacefully in Vermont, Ryan Flannigan is shocked when a text from her oldest friend alerts her to a devastating news item. A controversial photo of her as a pre-teen has been found in the possession of a wealthy investor recently revealed as a pedophile and a sex trafficker—with an inscription to him from Ryan’s mother on the back.
Memories crowd in, providing their own distinctive pictures of her mother Fiona, an aspiring actress, and their move to the West Village in 1976. Amid the city’s gritty kaleidoscope of wealth and poverty, high art, and sleazy strip clubs, Ryan is discovered and thrust into the spotlight as a promising young actress with a woman’s face and a child’s body. Suddenly, the safety and comfort Ryan longs for is replaced by auditions, paparazzi, and the hungry eyes of men of all ages.
Forced to reexamine her childhood, Ryan begins to untangle her young fears and her mother’s ambitions, and the role each played in the fraught blackout summer of 1977. Even with her movie career long behind her, Ryan and Fiona are suddenly the object of uncomfortable speculation—and Fiona demands Ryan’s support. To put the past to rest, Ryan will need to face the painful truth of their relationship, and the night when everything changed.
The above paragraphs set up the novel perfectly and are from GoodReads.
Issues of mother/daughter relationships are all over this novel. Reminded me of Brooke Shields and her very dominant mother years ago. But in this case there is much drama from the 1970’s. And the night the lights went out in NYC looms large and shows a big turn around.
I loved reading about the artist colony in Vermont. And the small community in New York City where artistic people came together and held court.
There’s a lot of mystery involved in discovering how Ryan and her mother came to be in the place they are in 2019. And then someone blows the lid off their story and brings it all to a boil all over again.
I can totally see this novel being made into a fabulous movie. Book clubs will love the fact that this novel is being published in trade paperback form which makes it so much more affordable. My review copy arrived from the marking company Spark Point Studios and the publisher Kensington in exchange for an honest review. I think it’s just super. A real page-turner.