5 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
JavaJuice reviewed The Sewing Circle: Hollywood's Greatest Secret : Female Stars Who Loved Other Women on
Helpful Score: 3
I tried to get into this book, but it just couldn't capture my attention. I don't know if it's because the book is about actresses I barely know anything about, or if it's the way the author writes. Oh well, can't read 'em all, I guess. ;-)
The focus is Hollywood's pinnacle decades, the thirty years stretching from the dawn of the "talkies" in the late 1920's to the collapse of the studio system and the anticommunist witch hunt that was so harrowing to nonconformists.
This is a book about appearances, about denied attachments and emotions and the mocking of mystery and allure. It is the documented story and affectionate close-up of exalted lives and furtive appetites. When When Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrch had enough of men, artifice, and glamour, they sought solace, strength, and understanding in clandestine, feminine relationships.
Onscreen, they were incarnations of turbid fantasies. Offscreen, they depended on women who loved women, like the poet-playwright Mercedes de Acosta, whose bed they shared in succession. Catholicism and Judaism--the predominatn faithes of showbiz people--are explicitly antagonistic toward same-sex love. The mores of the Golden Era enforced two-way secrecy. Not only did lesbians live hidden lives, the public at large averted its eyes. NOBODY wanted to know.