I love the nostalgia of 60’s culture, and yet this story just seemed to go nowhere for me. Perhaps a different Jane Green title will appeal to me more. I appreciated the opportunity to read the ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Jane Green is one of my favorite authors. in Sister Stardust, she creates quite a world in the 1960's US and then Morocco. You can literally visualize Marrakesh in her writing.
Any reader of a certain age--growing up in the 1960s will love this book. All the references to pop culture and British rock bands can take one back quickly back 60 years to the "sex, drugs, and rock n roll" era. the story is based on facts about Talitha and Paul Getty and their hangers on in Marrakesh. It shows the "fun" partying and the excitement of the times, but also the tragedy and pain of the drug infused life that was pervasive then. This book is filled with brightness and darkness and probably a pretty fair assessment of what went on in an interesting and exciting story.
This was a magical read! I was swept away to the glitz and glamour of a Morocco. Palace and it was magical! Sure some parts of the story were sad but o stall this was a captivating read
“I knew now, what the rock and roll lifestyle entailed. As alluring as it was, it carried a darkness that could pull you under.”—Jane Green, Sister Stardust.
Inspired by a true story, author Jane Green reimagines the glamorous and tragic life of Dutch fashion icon and socialite Talitha Getty through the eyes of Claire, a young woman in search of adventure who is drawn into Talitha’s orbit.
It’s the swinging ‘60s when 19-year-old Claire gets kicked out of the house by her stepmother and moves to London to get a job. Her music manager boyfriend introduces her to his circle of friends, members of the Wide-Eyed Boys rock band. Before long, she’s whisked away to a pleasure palace in Marrakesh, Morocco, where she meets John Paul Getty Jr. and his wife, Talitha. Claire, newly christened Cece by her new friends, becomes completely engrossed in the indulgent sex, drugs, & rock 'n’ roll scene.
The push and pull of who Claire is and who she wants to be as Cece is a study in human nature. She so desperately wants to be somebody, and to have friends who love her, that she makes terrible choices and loses her innocence.
I was eager to read this book because it has thematic similarities to Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novel, Daisy Jones and the Six. The historical details are fascinating, and many real people are featured on its pages, including Mick Jagger and John Lennon. Jane Green is a talented storyteller, and the book is well written, but it is sordid. Most of the characters are morally bankrupt and looking for love in all the wrong places: there are orgies, a massive amount of drug and alcohol abuse, and debauched behavior.
One aspect of Sister Stardust really bothers me. The publisher pitches it as a “reimagining” of Talitha Getty’s life, which implies the author fabricated episodes about a real person. The same thing applies to her characterization of John Paul Getty Jr. That seems unethical. 3 stars.
** Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a complimentary copy of this novel. The opinions expressed here are my own.
Based on a true story that is gloomy, at times. This is one of the books that has been gathering dust on my bookshelf for too long. Although I’ve never heard of Talitha and Paul Getty, there were many famous characters that I did recognize.
Claire abruptly leaves home after an argument with her stepmother. She heads to London, young and naive, full of visions of adventure. Life doesn’t go as planned and she gets most of her education through the school of hard knocks. Then she meets a charming boy who introduces her to another world and unexpected opportunities.
She travels to Marrakesh and gets a taste of life with the rich and famous. She’s introduced to everything the infamous ’60s has to offer…drugs, wild parties, free love, famous musicians, and Talitha. She and Talitha form an instant connection that continues until Talitha’s premature death.
Jetting off to Morocco and other exciting places with Claire (who evolves into the mature and fashionable Cece) was exciting. The parties and risqué behavior were entertaining up to the point of deadly outcomes.
Thank you to HTP Books for providing a copy of this ARC through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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I wasn't sure what I was expecting with this book, but I didn't get it. It starts off with a mother talking to her daughter and they have found a box of artifacts of some kind in the attic. Included in the box is an old letter. This prompts Claire (or CeCe) to tell a story of a few weeks (months?) in her life when she lived through a crazy period of time.
Basically she went from being an anorexic in London, aspiring to be a shopgirl, living with her best friend... to going on all-night benders and participating in threesomes. She comes across as both naive and insensitive. She completely ditches her best friend - who uprooted her life to come to London with her! She ignores her brother and his best friend (Benjie) forever and then when Benjie shows up to "save" her, she clings to him.
I guess I couldn't relate to Claire or find any justification in what she was doing. I know this was an attempt to be historical fiction of Talitha's life, but it wasn't really about Talitha. It is about Claire. I would have rather read about Talitha than Claire and the whirlwind of drugs and sex. I didn't come out of the story with any greater understanding of Claire or any empathy of how she kept these secrets. Eh.
I am not a huge historical fiction reader so it took me awhile to get to this one but i did think it wasnt too bad of a book and the story flowed really well. If you like coming of age stories you would like this one!
I really seem to enjoy books that take place in the 1960s/1970s. I do get swept away in the fashion, music and care free nature of this time. Although I do not love the glamorizing of drugs/alcohol it was part of the time. Sister Stardust was an enjoyable read that did take me away to Marrakech and London. It was filled with interesting characters (some that were real life people) and it explored the idea of their glamorous lifestyle while also showing truly what was going on behind the scenes. How sex, drugs and music were an escape, an expression of that time and maybe not so glamorous after all. I could have read more about Talitha!
An atmospheric jaunt to the free love and drug induced haze of the 60’s.
Longing to break free from her dour country existence, Claire moves to London and seeks out the “It” crowd. It’s not long before she’s swept away to Marrakesh where she meets Talitha Getty. At a turning point, Claire must decide who she really is at her core.
I wanted to get lost in Claire’s transition from country mouse to fully aware and enlightened adult. But the evolution felt stifled and laced with immaturity. The juxtaposition between old Claire and the one that wanted to break free didn’t feel natural, and I constantly questioned her sensibilities. Ultimately, Claire required a knight in shining armor, which left me feeling deflated and frustrated with that same old trope.
To this day, Talitha’s bohemian style resonates and her fashion legacy looms large. And while the book does portray her magnetism and charisma, I felt as though this novel pigeonholed her into a persona, leaving out the core of who she actually was.
To the degree that the characterization and coming of age aspects didn’t work, the atmosphere and opulence of Marrakesh and the execution of the 60’s lifestyle absolutely DID.
The decadence of the Getty’s compound is laid bare in gorgeous detail. I felt as though I were traversing the grounds in all its bold splendor.
Likewise, the parties and gatherings, which rightfully include Yves Saint Laurent, brought me into the circle, giving me a firsthand look into the forbidden. Green well portrays the catalyst for the drug and sex induced haze of the sixties while envisioning it as both alluring and a warning.
The atmosphere of this book allowed me to time travel to an otherwise impossible time and place. And that was a win for me.
This made for a great buddy read! The discussions that @rachellelovesbooks and I had elevated my enjoyment of this book.
Many thanks to @hanoversquarepress and @htpbooks for this #gifted copy.
Perhaps it was just my mood or frame of mind, but I just couldn't get into this book. I started and stopped so many times, but couldn't finish. It reminded me of Elizabeth Gilbert's <i>City of Girls</i>, but with the imagined lives of real historical people. The main character, Claire, is not particularly sympathetic and the storyline moves slowly, so I am not likely the target reader with this one. I do think it would be a great read for those that have memories closer to the time period (60s/70s) described, and those that love more "modern" historical fiction will find something to love here.
This was such a fun and entertaining way to be swept back into the past for a few hours. Loved the glitz and glam alongside the sex, drugs and rock and roll of the era, Jane Greene can do no wrong!
Talitha seems to have a perfect life to any outsider, but it's far from perfect. She has a famous husband and is known worldwide as a famous model and actress. When her path crosses with Clarie, a sweet woman from a small town and their friendship continues to grow, neither knows how much they have to learn from the other.
This book really captured the essence of the 60's counter culture for me. I appreciated the descriptions of the popular London clubs and getting a peek at the behind the scenes life of some celebrities.
Oh my goodness this definitely brings you back to the fabulous 60's.
I loved the setting of Morocco and Jane does a fabulous job gripping her readers into the lifestyle of drugs, sex, rock and roll that the 60's brings. The story was definitely captivating and enjoyed the intertwining of fictitious and real characters. I would love to see more of this in other women's fiction novels!!
What a truly special historical story and look forward to enjoying another story by the talented Jane Green.
Thank you so much to the Publisher for the arc in exchange for an honest review.
After being kicked out of her home by her stepmother, Claire moves from her sleepy home town to London seeing independence and adventure and all that the 1960s had to offer. After making the acquaintance of some musicians she's swept off to Marrakesh and the home of Talitha Getty. This is a wild ride of sex, drugs, rock and roll and all the era had to offer. You can imagine the wild colors and lives much like an acid trip. Whether it's rooted in the real lives of the Gettys, or just a wild ride of the time, it's a fun trip.
Jane Green is one of my all-time favorite authors and it just doesn't feel like summer to me without one of her novels! SISTER STARDUST felt like a bit of a departure from some of her more recent releases and, much like my experience of all of her writing, I thoroughly enjoyed both the characters and the story. Highly recommend for fans of both contemporary and historical fiction!
A new Jane Green book? Is there even more commentary than that required? (Hint, the answer is NO!) - Jane has been an auto-buy author for me since I first read Jemima J years and years ago, and never have her books failed me. Sister Stardust is Green's first foray into more of a historical setting, following the life of Claire and her friendship with the fabulous Talitha Getty. Upon finishing this book, I confirmed my belief that Green could write any subject and it would be fabulous!
Thank you to Hanover Square Press for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
Sister Stardust was a wonderfully written novel with vivid details of the time period settings and characters! Jane Green brings the 60s back to life and everything that came with it! Money, sex, drugs and yes rock-n-roll! This was an entertaining read for me! The life of both Talitha and Claire was interesting. Seeing everything through Claire's eyes was quite interesting. She is a naive young woman who begins to experience life on a completely different level when she crosses paths with Talitha Getty. It was definitely different from Jane Green's other books but it was a great read!
I felt this was different from Jane Green’s typical books, but overall I did really enjoy it. I liked the way it spoke of that time in the world.