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My Hollywood by Mona Simpson
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My Hollywood

by Mona Simpson

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Showing 5 of 5
Good book about "the help". However, setting a book in LA in the early 90's and not mentioning the earthquake seems weird.
  shazjhb | Apr 4, 2013 |
I was angry and glad when I finished this book: glad that it was over and angry that I stuck with it. It was way too long and rambling. What struck me about both narrators, Lola and Claire, was that both sacrificed their children for either money or career, yet neither reaped the potential benefits and so it seemed everyone lost. I found no character who seemed engaged with life - it just seemed such a struggle and for what. This would be interesting to pair the The Help - what happens when you leave your children to an adult who you treat as disposable. ( )
  ccayne | Jul 25, 2011 |
"My Hollywood" started slowly for me but by the end, I was completely hooked. It tells the story of a Filipina nanny called Lola; her real name is Wanda but no one calls her that and late in the book the reader learns why she is called Lola. The other main character is Claire, Lola's first employer, who tells her story alongside Lola. In other venues, reviewers have commented about how difficult it is to understand Lola's sections. It is written as she would have spoken, with imperfect English. I had a little trouble in the beginning, but soon, I found myself enjoying the rhythms of Lola's speech and her voice came through. Although the chapters pretty much alterate between Claire, the mother, and Lola, the nanny, this is Lola's story. I have more in common with Claire, but Lola steals the show. Claire recedes into the background, especially when Lola moves on to a new baby and a new household. I don't want to reveal too much about the plot, but Lola broke my heart. Parents want the nanny to love the children and some nannies become "part of the family," but they are really employees. Even if the nanny loves the child, it is a job. As Lola says, "I'm here for the money." She would rather be in the Philippines with her own children and with her husband. In the end, she plans to go back to them, but lost years can never be regained. This book is haunting me. ( )
  krbrancolini | Mar 31, 2011 |
just couldn't get into it. ( )
  WinonaBaines | Oct 26, 2010 |
Claire is a young mother with a workaholic husband. She is a classically trained musician and longs for the freedom to work on her compositions. (It's just not fair that her husband get to spend all his days and nights at his job!) Claire is overwhelmed and feels inadequate so she hires a Filipina nanny, Lola, to help raise her son. The chapters alternate between the narrative of the two women. There is some strong writing here. I especially appreciated the interesting, balanced p.o.v.--Claire does grow as a mother and we the readers come to understand that Lola is not without faults. The book is long, however, and I was frequently bored--I think I really wanted more drama--more story here. (or perhaps 200 pgs. less) ( )
1 vote GCPLreader | Sep 5, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0307273520, Hardcover)

Kathryn Stockett Reviews My Hollywood

Kathryn Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in English and Creative Writing, she moved to New York City, where she worked in magazine publishing and marketing for nine years. The Help is her first novel. Read her review of My Hollywood:

My Hollywood: Step into the glittering lives of Hollywood America, as scrubbed, wiped, and polished by immigrant women. It's so refreshing that a book can be this poignant, satirical, and heartbreaking at once. You might find yourself laughing at your own life as you read what the help says and thinks behind the backs of American housewives. You'll wonder at the intricate system of the modern household--where one mother pays another to give her children love. It illuminates the differences between American and immigrant mothers--until you realize how alike we are! The vivid accents and the vibrant voices of the children continue to ring in my ear. I loaned it to my mom and she took it to Mississippi with her and won't send it back. I'll be buying a copy of my own.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:09 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Struggling with her television writer husband's long hours and her own lack of childcare experience, composer and new mother Claire hires Lola, a Filipino mother of five seeking to finance her children's education back in the Philippines, who becomes privately devoted to her employers.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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