Stars Over Sunset Boulevard, by Susan Meissner, is an interesting story for those of us who loved Gone With the Wind. Behind the scenes of the David Selznick movie come alive through two main characters, secretaries Violet Mayfield and Audrey Duvall (who is also an aspiring actress.) The story deals with their friendship, climb from painful pasts, and mutual hunger for success.
I must say I enjoyed Ms. Meissner’s book/audio Secrets of a Charmed Life, more than I did this story. The characters in Charmed Life were more likeable and easy to relate to. Stars Over Sunset Boulevard’s Violet and Audrey fell a little flat for me. I didn’t particularly like them in the beginning (although that changed somewhat the further I read/listened.)
The streetcar lurched forward toward the foothills and the Hollywoodland sign as the first two stars of the night sky pierced the lavender horizon. (Excerpt)
I feel the audiobook is probably more intriguing than the book, due to the excellent narrator. The diverse accents she used for the different character voices made each more believable and intriguing. Otherwise, I feel some of the lengthy narration would have lost me if I were reading it for myself.
They walked back to the table and Violet realized Bert didn’t want just any company while listening for some unexplainable nightingale. He wanted Audrey’s. (Excerpt)
Audio Narration: Stars Over Sunset Boulevard is told in third person, narrated by Ann Marie Less. She does an exquisite job of narration, making the story come alive. Her inflection is clear and concise, and she expresses the differing accents magnificently.
Audio Production Quality: The production quality of this audio book is clear, with no distracting background music, static, or skips.
Overall Opinion: This is a good story with unique characters and perspectives. It leaves me wanting a bit more though. Because of the narration, I stayed with the story, but much of the information didn’t seem to move the story forward, or keep me “glued” so to speak. I struggled between 3 and 4 stars – but ultimately—because of the superb narration—I rate it 4.
Audio Length: 10:59 hours
Pages (printed length): 400
First Line: A brilliant California sun bathed Violet Mayfield in indulgent light as she neared the soaring palm tree and the woman seated on a bench underneath it.
I received a Review Copy from christianaudio.