Thursday, March 16, 2017

THE HOLLYWOOD DAUGHTER by Kate Alcott; Read by Erin Spencer Audio Edition

     Hollywood stories abound but perhaps none are as unique as this one.  It's easy to forget how many people, some on the periphery of the movie industry, are affected by the life of a major star.  Case in point is the poignant story of Jesse Malloy.

     She is the daughter Gabriel Malloy, a studio publicist whose career was skyrocketing along with that of his most famous client, Ingrid Bergman.  Thanks to Gabriel's promotion of the movie Casablanca he was able to buy a Beverly Hills mansion complete with pool.  Jesse's mother was a devout Roman Catholic and enrolled her daughter at Saint Ann's, an all-girls Catholic school.  Her time there was peaceful and trouble free.  What was outstanding in Jesse's adolescence were her brief contacts with Bergman whom her father was grooming as not only beautiful and talented but also saintly (thanks to the two movies The Bells Of St. Mary's and Joan Of Arc.)  Jesse's admiration of Bergman verged on adoration when Saint Ann's was chosen s the location for The Bells of Saint Mary's.  Bergman was rapidly embraced, endorsed by the Catholic Church and the dreaded Legion of Decency.

     In retrospect one can only imagine the brouhaha when Bergman leaves her husband for director Roberto Rossellini not just for a dalliance but also bears him a child.  What effect could all of this have had on the adolescent Jesse?  In addition to her personal response we follow her as her family tries to adapt to a dramatic change in Gabriel's career.

     Kate Alcott is the pseudonym for journalist Patricia O'Brien who is a New York Times bestselling author. Multi talented Erin Spencer delivers a compelling narration.  Her voice is heard on a number of audio books and she has toured the world as a dancer.


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