THE ACTRESS by Bessie Breuer

THE ACTRESS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

.....is Joanna Trask, chanced on by a talent scout, whose bit part is a moving picture won notice, won her a husband, on the way up director Arthur, and an unexpected start in the Hollywood way. And as Hollywood goes -- Joanna went -- divorced, unnoticed -- until her agent passed her on to Rome where film- name Renato red-carpeted her arrival but provided no picture: after a drifting life in Hollywood there was another Italian offer -- this time with a picture, with a simple approach to picture making and an even simpler approach to sex with Enzo. But the sense of achievement vanished with her pregnancy causing Joanna to lose herself in New York, to live on the edge of nothing with her new baby, and to agree to a necessary marriage to Enzo when he arrives to do a film in the U.S. California again, the Hollywood sheen again, but Enzo cannot compromise and when Joanna lands with bright boy Gua and a low budget production -- it is the bedding down which takes her from grade B to Oscar status, separates her from Enzo and returns her to Arthur, who with his small son coordinates her and her little boy into a full family and professional whole and turns her developing talents towards the real theater. A growing, small, plodding knowledge of self, a turning of failures into lessons for the future, a soberly considered progress from amateurism to professionalism -- this offers footnotes on more glittering cinematic narratives, brushes off the glamor for a less vista vision viewing and if its heroine is hapless and never fully real -- she gets where she's going. From the author of Memory of Love this could have and should have been more memorable.

Publisher: Harper