Title: Sister Stardust
Author: Jane Green
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Hanover Square Press, Harper Collins
Publication Date: 28th April 2022
In her first novel inspired by a true story, Sunday Times Bestseller Jane Green re-imagines the life of troubled icon Talitha Getty in this transporting story from a forgotten chapter of the Swinging ’60s
From afar Talitha’s life seemed perfect. In her twenties, and already a famous model and actress, she moved from London to a palace in Marrakesh, with her husband Paul Getty, the famous oil heir. There she presided over a swirling ex-pat scene filled with music, art, free love and a counterculture taking root across the world.
When Claire arrives in London from her small town, she never expects to cross paths with a woman as magnetic as Talitha Getty. Yearning for the adventure and independence, she’s swept off to Marrakesh, where the two become kindred spirits. But beneath Talitha’s glamourous facade lurks a darkness few can understand. As their friendship blossoms and the two grow closer, the realities of Talitha’s precarious existence set off a chain of dangerous events that could alter Claire’s life forever.
I’ve not read a great deal of fiction set in the 1960s so Sister Stardust really intrigued me. The story follows Claire, a self-declaring ‘country mouse’ who yearns for something more. She escapes her home life, and transforms herself after moving to London, where she meets a new and decadent crowd. Claire ends up following her new circle to the seductive Marrakesh in Morocco and she becomes a close confidant of the glamorous Talitha Getty. They are swept up in this beautiful reckless bubble of music, love, sex and excess. However, it slowly becomes clear there is a dark side to this heady situation and it will change Claire irrevocably.
The most impressive aspect of Sister Stardust is the mood and atmosphere Green has created. The setting of Morocco is beautifully drawn and will transport the reader to this other time and place exquisitely. Though the book is fiction, Talitha Getty was real and this kernel of truth gives the book a sense of authenticity and resonance. The writing is descriptive and seductive – full of gorgeous imagery that paints a vivid and visceral picture. I thoroughly enjoyed this journey into the luxurious world of the swinging sixties and the counterculture surrounding it. Sister Stardust is intense, stylish and wonderful escapism. I would absolutely recommend!
Thank you so much to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for inviting me on this tour and organising it. I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.
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