Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Other Side of the Stars - Clemency Burton-Hill

Synopsis -Until recently, Lara had never questioned her decision to follow in her mother's footsteps.  Acting hadn't really felt like a decision, it was just the thing she 'had' to do.  And yet the older Lara got, and the more defined she became in the public eye as 'Eve Lacloche's daughter', thanks to her own blossoming career, the more the question plagued her why she was doing what she was doing.  Why she had voluntarily chosen a path that would constantly invite comparison between mother and daughter, constantly remind Lara of her loss, constantly make her feel trapped in some sort of inescapable fate?  Her inability to answer those questions was partly why this latest film offer had thrown her into such a tumult, and she was desperate to now ask her father: 'Do you think I'm crazy to do what I do?'

Review - A story which explores the difficulties of following the same career path as one of your parents.  There are many actors who do and there lies the question, is it easier for the offspring because of the parent having paved a path or is the pressure worse, living up to the mark?  This is not the central storyline but it does crop up.  The story itself surrounds Lara, her relationship with her boyfriend Alex and her friends from University.  The death of her famous mother and how the family cope and the remake of her mother's film when Lara finally decides to accept the offer.  Does art imitate life or vice versa?

A sensitive first novel from Ms Burton-Hill.  Well developed characterisations, you will like Lara and Alex.  Her father Oliver is a difficult character but you can understand the difficulties he faced being in the diplomatic service and coping with his artistic wife.  He is likeable particularly when the story unwinds and you learn the difficulties he and Eve both faced.  The friends are typical likeable chicklit style mates who are there to provide a shoulder to cry on when necessary.  A fairly light read with some deep insights tackling the often tortured souls of the truly gifted artiste.  3*

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