Although this thought-provoking novel is woven around Ingrid Bergman's life, the real heart of the story is about a young Catholic girl, Jesse, as she changes from a child to an adult. Her father, a publicist for Ingrid Bergman, becomes known for his brilliance in choosing a perfect time to launch "Casablanca". Jesse is introduced to Ingrid by her father and continues to see her at key points in her life. Jesse faces issues that many teens confront today: parental relationship difficulties, choosing a college, religious internal struggles, boyfriends, and finding a life direction. I found this to be an easy and touching read that drew me into the story and was difficult to put down. Highly recommend!
Story was ok - 2/3s was Jesse's childhood years, last 1/3 was 9 years later in her late 20s when she is trying to come to terms. Her mother is a strict catholic and her father is a publicist for a movie production company. Most interesting part was not the story of Jesse but the 1940s and 1950s Hollywood when communists were being blacklisted, McCarthyism, and the Catholic church's role with their committees on morals in movies, required oaths, and condemnation of Hollywood. Also the history of Ingrid Bergman (Jesse's idol and part of her fathers world), the movies she was in, her affair with Rossellini and how she fled to Italy and was not allowed to return to America for many years.