Friday, March 15, 2019

Julie's Review: The Beautiful Strangers

Author: Camille Di Maio
Series: None
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 304
Obtained: Great Thoughts, Great Readers Book Salon
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: A wonderful story about finding your place in the world and finding your place in your family
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: 1958. Kate Morgan, tethered to her family’s failing San Francisco restaurant, is looking for an escape. She gets her chance by honoring a cryptic plea from her grandfather: find the beautiful stranger. The search takes her to Hotel del Coronado, the beachfront landmark on the Southern California coast where filming is underway on the movie Some Like It HotFor a movie lover like Kate, it’s a fantasy come true. So is the offer of a position at the glamorous hotel. And a new romance is making her heart beat just as fast. But as sure as she is that Coronado is her future, Kate discovers it’s also where the ghosts of the past have come to stay. Sixty years ago a guest died tragically, and she still haunts the hotel’s halls.

Review: As a kid we stayed at the Hotel Del Coronado and I remember loving it. Of course the rich history of it alluded me then but if I were to go back I would want to know more about it. Ms. Di Maio does that with this book. She gives you some history of the hotel, the ghost and the making of a classic Hollywood film. In it though lies a family’s history that is about to be unraveled.

Kate leaves her life in San Francisco working in the family restaurant to pretty much go on a wild goose chase based on her ailing Grandfather's wish. This leads her to the Hotel Del Coronado looking for a job since that's where he told her to go. He had even circled the opening for a job since they needed extra workers due to a movie being filmed there. Luckily she lands the job and even more lucky that she gets to serve Ms. Monroe her morning tray and in a way they befriend each other. 

Kate is a dreamer and so is her granddad. They spent time together by going to the movies, where Kate develop a passion for them. So working on a movie set is a dream come true with peeks behind the curtain. Kate is a wonderful and endearing character that will have you rooting for her the whole novel. How Kate's family history is tied to the Coronado is what makes this story really hum. Any time Old Hollywood is involved I'm hooked because it's such a fascinating time in movie making and the shift in our culture. 

This is a novel that will hook you from the first few pages and won’t let you go until you read the final two words. I highly recommend. 



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