An epic 20th-century saga of family values and artistic ambition, set against the backdrop of the earliest days of Hollywood.
In this vintage Julie Ellis novel, a strong woman fights for her family's survival and to keep her own integrity in a fast-changing world.
Elisabeth Woolf is born into a rich London family, raised in privileged surroundings by her doting but domineering father. He has definite ideas about how a young Edwardian lady should behave; they do not include higher education, nor attending the theatre. Yet, at seventeen, Elisabeth meets and falls in love with a young actor not of her own faith. Before she realises the full consequences of such a perilous action, she is made an outcast.
She flees with her young lover to Melbourne, where he has been offered work. Here Elisabeth discovers her own talent for acting. But before she can establish her career, tragedy intervenes and she must escape again, this time to the USA. Now it seems that nobody wants stage actresses, but in California there is talk of some strange new medium: cinema.
From the First World War to the 1950s, Elisabeth and her descendants are at the heart of the emerging entertainment industry, from the silent movies, through talkies, early radio broadcasts and the very first days of television. Despite the scandals, struggles and pressures that threaten her professional survival, Elisabeth proves that she is truly a woman for all seasons.
Julie Ellis is the bestselling author of, among other novels, The Only Sin, Commitment, Far To Go and Passionate Obsession. She is an avid conservationist and a full-time writer. She lives in Manhattan.
'Julie Ellis writes with a fluent historical perspective [and] keeps the story brewing heady and strong'
Manchester Evening News