Hollywood isn’t always glitz and glamour. Explore all sides with these great historical fiction books about hollywood.
Do you ever get drawn into a small genre? Not just a broad genre like historical fiction, but dial it down to a specific place, person, or time period?
I do this all the time and that’s what I did recently with this roundup of books. All were historical fiction about Hollywood.
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Historical Fiction About Hollywood
While these books have plenty of glitz and glamour, they’re also honest looks at the dark side of the movie industry too.
Some of these books are completely fictionalized from characters to sets, others have cameos of famous people, and one is based off of the story of real-life historical figures.
Which one of these do you want to read?
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This unputdownable book begins when aging and reclusive actress Evelyn Hugo decides it time to tell the story of her life and insists that unknown magazine writer Monique Grant is the only one she trusts to tell her story.
The book then moves on to tell Hugo’s story from her childhood in an Upper East Side apartment to moving to Hollywood in the 50’s and her super stardom. You’ll hear about all seven husbands, the dark side of Hollywood, and what it’s like to live in the public life. But, you’ll also hear a love story and the life Hugo’s fans never knew about as well as finding out why she was so insistent that Monique tell her story.
I’m sometimes hesitant to pick up extremely popular books, but I’m so glad I read this one. The story was engaging and so hard to put down!
A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott
In A Touch of Stardust, Julie Crawford moves from Indiana in order to pursue her dream of becoming a screenwriter to Hollywood and finds herself with a front row seat to Hollywood history. The only job Julie can find is one in the publicity office for David O. Selznick where she finds herself daily on the set of Gone With the Wind. Soon after, she leaves her job to become the personal assistant to Carole Lombard.
Through Julie’s eyes, we get a front row seat to the making of Gone With the Wind as well as the love affair between Carole Lombard and Clark Gable. In addition, we get to see Julie’s own budding love affair and her experiences as a woman trying to break into screen writing during the Golden Age of Hollywood.
This was a fun book that starred both fictionalized characters and real life characters. I loved the behind the scenes look at Lombard and Gable and seeing how that influenced Julie’s own life and romance.
Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts
Ever since I first heard about this book, I’ve been excited to read it. Finding Dorothy is a fictionalized account of the real life story of Maud Baum, the wife of L. Frank Baum, and her experience on the set of The Wizard of Oz. This book was well-researched and the story-telling drew me in from the very beginning.
The book alternates between telling the story of Maud and telling the story of the filming of the movie. The two stories weave together beautifully.
All in all, I loved this book. Maud was fascinating as was the story behind the book and behind the movie. I loved getting a glimpse of Judy Garland as a teenager and reading about her friendship with Maud. I could not put this book down!
What I’m Reading next
I’m eyeing two more books that fit the genre of historical fiction about Hollywood that I hope to get to soon.
The first is The Hollywood Daughter by Kate Alcott. I enjoy Alcott’s books and look forward to reading another take on Hollywood history. In this book, she brings you to the era of McCarthyism and it’s effect on the movie business.
The other books takes on the story of one of the most fascinating women in Hollywood history, Hedy Lamarr. The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict tells the story of a scientist who becomes a movie star and helps defeat the Nazis. Fascinating!
Do you have any recommendations as to what I should read next?