The finale of Hollywood Week brings us cross country to New York City in 1939. Amanda Farraday is making one final leap to get the man she loves back into her life, and this includes escaping the ghosts of Hollywood and arriving in that city that never sleeps. As a New Yorker myself, nothing brings me greater joy (setting wise) then seeing this great town through the eyes of one of my book characters, and I was more than thrilled to be getting a taste of vintage NYC in Love Me.
To get you in the Starstruck spirit, I took a little walk through the city yesterday (I wore a light jacket; this feels like progress, folks) to bring to life some of Amanda’s initial reactions to this lively place.
She didn’t resent these swift-moving, smartly dressed people quite literally too busy to give her the time of day. Not at all. She wanted to be one of them.
Welcome to the Waldorf-Astoria hotel. Isn’t it beautiful? It’s personally one of my favorite places to walk past (especially during the holidays). I’ve never stepped foot inside but I basically have it memorized from watching Serendipity every year since it came out. Back to Love Me — Amanda’s stature is pretty convincing because she can look the part of a wealthy young woman, which is why the cabbie brings her straight to the Waldorf. She gets a room so quickly; it’s uncanny.
Up next — where better than to confront your lost love than at his place of work? Harry is working on a new place at the Martin Beck Theatre (pictured on the left in 1955 and now renamed the Al Hirschfield Theatre) called An American Girl.
Obviously, I didn’t realize you’d be in rehearsal or I’d never have dreamed of interrupting like this. But I thought as long as I was here, it would be terribly rude not to say hello.
Sure, Amanda, sure.
Harry agrees to meet Amanda for a drink so they can “talk”. Amanda has just gone shopping at the Hattie Carnegie Boutique (which, coincidentally, was located near my current office) with a quick stop at the Elizabeth Arden Spa to ensure she knocks off Harry’s socks and arrives unimpressed at 21. (Harry mentions the lawn jockeys in his description of the place so it’s pretty fun that they are still guarding the place.)
She sips a ginger ale and Harry orders a scotch and well, you’ll have to read the book to see what happens from there… it’s crazy and dramatic and oh-so-very juicy.
And just like that, our tour is over — short and sweet like this troubled starlet’s jaunt to the big city. This is yet another reason why I enjoy Shukert’s work so much. Even though this characters spends so little time in New York City, Shukert doesn’t skimp on the details and instead brings this setting to life.
The sharp scent of diesel filled her nose as she pushed through the throngs of people waiting to embark for destinations north, skirting the uniformed porters struggling with piles of luggage, the little vignettes of joyous reunions and tearful farewells playing simultaneously around her. Like everyone is in their own movie.
Will Amanda return to NYC in book three of the Starstruck series? Will skyscrapers ever rank above palm trees? There’s so much to look forward to (and more) in the upcoming book! So much.
Thanks so much for following along with Hollywood Week! It was so much fun to change up the routine, spotlight a great series, and also share the spotlight with some of my favorite bloggers. In case you missed any of the posts, here’s a quick run down of how it all went:
» Nailed It: Starstruck + Reality Boy
» Andi ABC’s Styles the Stars for the Oscars
» My review of Love Me (Book 2 of the Starstruck series!)
» Hollywood Tour from Rachel Shukert
» Hollywood to Your Bookshelf: Lea Michele + Jonathan Groff
» Pop! Goes the Reader + Films of the Dirty Thirties
» Author Rachel Shukert Meet + Greet
Thank you thank you thank you to Andi + Jen! Huge hugs to Rachel from Hello Chelly for making this gorgeous header!
And one final bonus: your chance to win Starstuck + Love Me! It’s easy to enter + open to U.S. readers only.