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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent debut novel
This is Burton-Hill's debut novel, and if all her books are to this standard, she will have a long writing career in front of her. The story follows Lara from London to New York and Paris in pursue of her dream - acting. However, her latest, and biggest role to date is to play the lead in the film that was her mother's masterpiece. On this journey of acting and...
Published on 21 Feb 2009 by K. Leversuch

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3.0 out of 5 stars An average read
There was an element of mystery at the beginning of this book, yet by the end I did not feel Eve's demise was explained fully enough. In fact, the conclusion in general was very unsatisfactory and I guess we are meant to simply make our own mind up about what happened next. I accept that the story tackles depression in an era when it was not fully understood, and Eve had...
Published 20 months ago by Fiona in Florence


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent debut novel, 21 Feb 2009
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This review is from: The Other Side of the Stars (Paperback)
This is Burton-Hill's debut novel, and if all her books are to this standard, she will have a long writing career in front of her. The story follows Lara from London to New York and Paris in pursue of her dream - acting. However, her latest, and biggest role to date is to play the lead in the film that was her mother's masterpiece. On this journey of acting and self-discovery, she learns a lot about her family, in particular her mother, and some shocking secrets. The book is split into parts, some of the parts are set in the present, others in the past. One section is about Eve, her mother. This gave a wonderful insight into her and her own struggles, which we then saw revealed in more detail through Lara's discovery. I liked the way this broke up the book and gave glimpses at what might have happened.

I liked Lara. She was a girl with a tragic past, seemingly trying to do the right thing, even if she got that wrong. She worked hard, was honest and open, and I felt I connected with her. I was cheering her on and there were times I wanted to yell at her for making bad choices. In fact, all the characters were well written, and I liked all of them. I was interested in them all and the role they played in this story.

Burton-Hill writes about challenging issues as well; such as depression over a decade ago, when people did not know that it was an illness, and the effect that had on sufferers. Also about long distance relationships, what death can do to a family, and of course, we get a glimpse into the acting, Hollywood world.

My complaints are few. The first, was the Epilogue was a touch predictible, and not really necessary I felt. The second, was I felt the mention of Facebook was a little cheesy. And the third is the amount of swearing and smoking - both of cigarettes and joints - I felt both were a little too much. Other than that, I really enjoyed this book, and it is a wonderful debut novel.

8/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elusive Stardom, 21 Jan 2011
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M. J. Saxton (Dewsbury, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Other Side of the Stars (Paperback)
This book has something of the French film about it; it is cinematic in that intimate way of the films that are part of its narrative.

It is a discovery book with a tantalising prologue - just what was Eve doing in Paris that night? I won't say that all becomes clear, but we are wiser at the end. Some of the most touching parts are those in which we witness Eve's gradual decline from international film star to depressed wife of a repressed English husband. It is hard to forgive his stiff upper lip behaviour yet completely understandable in the days when depression was not really talked about, or understood.

Lara's chance to remake one of her mother's great films uncovers her insecurity and leads her into self-delusion as she leaves London and her boyfriend, Alex, behind. She falls into one of the common traps of performing by forming a relationship with her leading man. He takes her into the exciting life of bohemian New York and unusual friends and she is (almost) seduced by the change from her home reality. Poor Alex, one has to feel for him: a good Northern lad who wants nothing but her. It is easy to see the similarities with Lara's father, and appreciate the differences.

Ms Burton-Hill provides a detailed and tangible difference between her four main locations, somehow she captures the air and atmosphere of each place. You can feel the stiffling Embassy ambience, the cold, fresh brashness of New York, reliable London and continental Paris with its slightly laid-back approach to life.

Sometimes you share discoveries with Lara, sometimes you are one step ahead, so it is more of a book about feeling than detection. And the end? Leaves you just a little more scope for your imagination.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An average read, 13 Dec 2012
This review is from: The Other Side of the Stars (Paperback)
There was an element of mystery at the beginning of this book, yet by the end I did not feel Eve's demise was explained fully enough. In fact, the conclusion in general was very unsatisfactory and I guess we are meant to simply make our own mind up about what happened next. I accept that the story tackles depression in an era when it was not fully understood, and Eve had to contend with many things in her life (including a "stiff-upper-lip" English husband) but on the whole this book didn't work that well for me, even if well-written with descriptive prose. I like the fact that Alex is from the North of England - at times it adds humorous touches with the narrative too. He is one of the more likable characters, with his feet firmly on terra firma whilst Lara is transported to the seductive world of the rich and famous - but at the end of the day, none of the characters really inspired me and I was left feeling a little cheated at the end.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars quick and fantastic book, 24 Oct 2011
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I have never cried to much when reading a book!
I loved reading it. It triggers and every emotion possible.
It is really easy to read and I recommend it to anyone from the age of 18 to 35.
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4 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A luminous presence, 4 Sep 2010
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This review is from: The Other Side of the Stars (Paperback)
I have just seen the author on Newsnight Review, and was captivated by her poise, erudition & luminescent beauty.
Her views, with insight bursting through the gloom like shafts of sun in autumnal morn, left me exhausted yet invigorated. Is love too strong a word? Something most never feel, yet I lived it watching the telly.
I feel a strong urge to rescue her.
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The Other Side of the Stars
The Other Side of the Stars by Clemency Burton-Hill (Paperback - 8 Jan 2009)
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