Friday, January 11, 2019

#BookReview - Life in the Hollywood Lane @ann_crawford1

Life in the Hollywood Lane

By: Ann Crawford
Publisher: Lightscapes Publishing
Publication Date: May 2018
ISBN: 978-0982169025
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: January 10, 2019
At first glance, Life in the Hollywood Lane appears to be just another fictional account of the life and times of an actress in and around the famous city. But this story is so much more - it's a story of a woman discovering the innermost truths about herself and taking the reader along for the journey.
Trish is an actress who has had some success in Hollywood, and while she hasn't made it big, she's "...made it medium." Originally from the Midwest, Trish moved to Hollywood as soon as she was old enough to make the trek and got busy going to auditions. It was at an audition that she met Cyndi, her soon-to-be BFF - "...the bestest of bestest friends in the history of bestest..." Cyn was bright, beautiful and had that special something that drew people to her. Together, the BFFs made a life in Hollywood, doing commercials and nabbing an occasional role in a movie. Trish and Cyn were able to pay their bills, but they always felt as if they hadn't quite "made it." 
As the two friends continued to work on their careers, time passed and suddenly it was twenty years later. In a town that judges a person in large part on their looks, reaching the age of 40 can be a big deal. For Trish, the event passed without much fanfare, but for Cyn, it was a much bigger deal. The night before her fortieth birthday, she killed herself.
The events up to and including Cyn's suicide happen within the first 20 pages and then the focus shifts to Trish's journey after her best friend's death. Dealing with the pain, the emptiness, the family, all these and more determine what Trish does. She questions so many things about her life, and her best friend. What could she have done differently? Was is something she said? Didn't say? The numbness and guilt could be overwhelming. Slowly, with the help of friends, such as her very funny agent Cara, Trish is able to get back to living.
While a book about an actress dealing with her best friend's death may sound like a real "downer," Life in the Hollywood Lane is actually a very uplifting read. Author Ann Crawford has a knack for setting a heartfelt, and yet, at times lighthearted, atmosphere to her stories. This is the second of her books that I've read, the other was Angels on Overtime, and both books had many, many funny moments, as well as deep, thought-provoking ideas. One moment you'll feel yourself tearing up as you read, and then a minute later you're laughing. As Life in the Hollywood Lane progresses, Trish begins to find herself, and find new relationships too. The author, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, shares snippets of what it's really like behind the curtain of fame in Hollywood, getting ready for the Red Carpet, the hurry-up-and-wait aspects of movie making, that add a bit of realism to the story. Most importantly, however, is the journey of discovery the Trish goes on and with which she takes the reader along. "...we can't truly be destroyed...only transformed...no matter what path we take." Words to live by, Trish, thanks for sharing.
Quill says: Life in the Hollywood Lane is a heartfelt, uplifting, and at times funny story about one woman's journey to finding herself that will linger with you long after you've finished reading.
For more information on Life in the Hollywood Lane, please visit the author's website at: anncrawford.net