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Seeing Starsby Diane Hammond
Synopses & Reviews
Ruth Rabinowitz believes. She believes that her daughter, Bethany, is a terrific little actress, so they have come to Hollywood, where dreams come true. Ruth's husband and Bethany's father, who thinks their quest for stardom is delusional, has been left behind in Seattle.
Joining Bethany Rabinowitz in Hollywood's often toxic waters are fellow child actors Quinn Reilly, who has been cast adrift by his family and excels only on Hollywood sets; beautiful Allison Addison, who is misled by her powerful need for love; and Laurel Buehl, who brings a desperate secret to LA that makes the stakes impossibly high. As talent managers, agents, coaches, directors, and teachers nurture — and feed on — their ambitions, stars will be made, hearts will be broken, children will grow up, and dreams will both be realized and die.
"Hammond (Hannah's Dream) explores the world of wannabe child stars in this taut if sometimes melodramatic novel. At the center is Ruth Rabinowitz, a naïve but determined stage mom who leaves her husband in Seattle to move to L.A. with their 13-year-old daughter, Bethany, who is soon plunged into a torrent of auditions, rejections, and humiliations. Three other teen actors represented by Bethany's manager play tragic stereotypes in the novel and are more vividly rendered than sweet if unremarkable Bethany: Laurel is determined to achieve stardom before her terminally ill mother dies; meanwhile, Allison, a beautiful and deeply troubled girl from Houston, and Quinn, a gifted actor from Seattle, have both been abandoned by cruel stepfathers and weak mothers. Careerwise, the virtually orphaned kids fare better, but this seems incidental in Hammond's lonely, exploitative Hollywood. Though Ruth's struggle to balance conflicting responsibilities is predictably resolved, the girls' stories remain compelling amid the gritty details of the child-acting biz." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Lambasting the entire coterie of misfit hangers-on that comprise the child-actor community, Hammond demonstrates how families must eventually confront hard truths as they differentiate between happiness and desire." Booklist
"[A]n untarnished look at the spoils of fame, the residue of unbridled longing and the lengths too many go to for those 15 minutes of marquee-made joy." Oregonian
Ruth Rabinowitz believes that her daughter Bethy is a terrific little actress. Hollywood, of course, eats people like Ruth and Bethy for breakfast. Surrounded by other aspiring child stars, they will discover just how far they can go — and maybe just how far they want to.
“Diane Hammond writes with heart, compassion, and humor.”
From Diane Hammond, author of Hannahs Dream, comes Seeing Stars, a glorious new novel of hope, dreams, love, and ambition. Set in Hollywood—where every child wants to be a star and every grownup wants a piece of the action—Seeing Stars explores a not-so glamorous world of stage mothers, adolescent Tinsel Town wannabes, and desperate chances with warmth and wit.
About the Author
Diane Hammond is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Hannah's Dream, Going to Bend, and Homesick Creek. She is the recipient of an Oregon Arts Commission literary fellowship and served as a spokesperson for the Free Willy Keiko Foundation and the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Hammond lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband and daughter.
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