For nineteen-year-old Estelle Thompson, going to the cinema is more than a way to pass the time…it’s a way out. In 1931 in Calcutta, Anglo-Indian girls like Estelle are considered half-breeds, shunned by both English and Indian society. Her only escape is through the silver screen, where she can forget the world around her.
When Estelle catches the eye of a dashing American heir with connections to a major motion-picture studio, he also captures her heart. Soon, Estelle has a one-way ticket to London and a recommendation for a screen test.
To get to the top, she must keep her Indian heritage concealed—and so begins her new identity as movie goddess Merle Oberon. But just as her dreams are poised to come true, she discovers that her own family is keeping a much more shocking secret from her—one that changes everything she’s believed about her past.
The book follows Estelle Thompson, an Anglo-Indian young woman aspiring to become an actress.
After some unforeseen heartbreak, she lands up in London hoping to find any acting job. She luckily finds a small part in a production, impresses the director so much that she gets the part to play the famous literary heroine Cathy in Wuthering Heights.
She also finally finds the love that she has always been looking for even though the reveal of her family secrets are devastating. And then – the book was over. I was surprised when I reached the last line because I didn’t expect it be over so soon. Not because I was engrossed in it but because the book just didn’t feel complete yet.
The writing is good and I was not completely bored. The story was a little simplistic but still enjoyable. The aspect I really found interesting was the plight of Anglo-Indians in India before our independence. I wasn’t aware that they were treated with such apathy by both the communities and it was fascinating to get to know something different about India’s history. It is a good read but the pace was very slow.