There were definitely some good moments in this book. I didn't really care for the main character though so that made it difficult at times to really get in to the book. However, Melody Carlson is an excellent writer. I would definitely read more from her!
Limelight by Melody Carlson is an unusual and humorous book about a starting life all over again at 82. Claudette Fiore's life was one anyone would envy: wealth, fame, handsome movie director husband, beauty; the epitome of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, until her accountant paid himself instead of the IRS leaving her without a home or the kind of life she's lived for the last sixty years. At first, the news causes her to attempt suicide, but two weeks in a psychiatric facility has left her determined to live on her own again. With the help of her stepson, she returns to her hometown of Silverton, California to a house left to Claudette in her mother's will. Returning to the town she couldn't leave fast enough and the sister she hasn't spoken to in years will test her self-confidence, and she will have to find her new place in the world. Claudette's trials while trying to learn how to care for a home: washing clothes with dish detergent, starting a fire in the fireplace with a closed flue, and using her Crock-Pot as emergency bathroom facilities makes this book at times a laugh out loud riot. But there is also a powerful message about friendship and finding self worth outside of your gross income. Carlson is an outstanding author, her books for teens resonate strongly with the YA audience, but her voice in this book rings just as true. Claudette is a character I wouldn't mind visiting again!
Many times in life we look at what is on the outside, what one has, and where one lives along with who one knows, and what one wears to define who we are and our success in life. In this book Claudette Fiore' finds out what really defines success and what real beauty is. Claudette came from a quiet, little town off the beaten path, but as you read this story you will see how her life changed when she feel in love and married moving away from Silverton to have a life of luxury, finding herself young and beautiful in all the appearances on the outside. As she leaves her little town as finds life in Hollywood. Claudette is almost full of herself, but life changes as her husband dies and she quickly finds out she is out of money. What must she do, but call upon her lifelong gay friend for help. He is all she has left at the moment, for she sees once her money was gone so was her life as she knew in Hollywood. Her only choice is to move back to Silverton, live in the house her mother left her and rebuild a life. During this change in her life Claudette finds beauty is the inside of person, and its not about material things. She hasn't spoken to her sister in years, but finds peace between them through stories shared of their past. She finds friendship from those she wouldn't have given the time of day in Hollywood. Silverton shows her what family, friends and love really is. This a book about aging, about looking at yourself at a young age and thinking your a beauty, but then time takes over and you no longer look twenty. Claudette struggles with this, and she finds real beauty in herself as she changes when Silverton becomes not just a place she left, but one she now calls home. This book was given to me as a gift from Multnoma for the reading and review of its contents.
I swear, there is no one that can write like Melody Carlson. Each of her books have been totally distinct and unique and just simply written wonderfully. This book is no exception. We're taken this time to the story of a former It Girl from the Golden Age of Hollywood who's suddenly found herself to be old, lonely and not knowing how to live life for herself. Claudette has to adapt from living a life with servants and staff doing everything for her to having to figure out even the simplest life skill on her own. It's a moving journey for both Claudette and the reader as she has to move back to her childhood home and rediscover life. There are parts of the book that are just hilarious yet at the same time I felt bad for laughing at Claudette's expense. I really liked how she was willing to do all these things albeit grudgingly and didn't use her age as an excuse. It really makes one think how we take all these things for granted, such as knowing how to use a washing machine or knowing that towels can be washed. To see her change throughout the book was a real eye opener that I totally enjoyed. This book REALLY makes you think, not only about about how you view life, but how your life changes when you get older and when you need to learn to stop being so prideful and accept help. Claudette's story is a wonderful read, full of humor, happiness, tears and hurt. This book is one of the best I've read this year and one that everyone should read. VERY HIGHLY recommended.