Not Without You

not without you    Not Without You
    by Harriet Evans
Published by Harper Collins
Genre: romance; chick lit
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
4 / 5

Hollywood seems to be a nest of vipers. It’s where sane people go to lose their minds, and where everything is faked. Relationships, feelings, original thoughts. It’s also where women go to starve because they are always too fat.

This book tells the tale of two women who followed the lure to Hollywood, although each had to decide just how much of her soul she was willing to sell for fame.

In one of the storylines, we have Eve Noel, a true movie star, back when there was such a thing. She lit up the silver screen in the 1950s until one day … she stopped. No one knows why, no one knows where she went, and no one knows how she was able to just walk away. As her story unfolds, we discover that she is a woman searching for something. Perhaps even she isn’t sure what that “something” is. She apparently has love, with an older star on whom she had a fierce crush as she grew up. She has fame. She even has a screenwriter who adores her so much that he writes the perfect role for her. So if she has it all, why leave?

The other storyline features Sophie, a modern-day star whose life is her movies. She doesn’t have many friends, she has no relationship with her family, and she is stuck in a rut of making the same movies over and over again. Sophie wants to break out and work on something different, a character different from the one she seems to continually play. Hollywood doesn’t take her seriously, though, and when a romance is engineered between her and a hot actor, she plays along because she needs the fame. She needs to be popular in order to call her own shots. But there is more to this man that she realized. Like Sophie, he is an Eve Noel fan, and he encourages Sophie in attempting to track down Eve and ask her to take a cameo role in an indie that Sophie wants to make.

The two women have more in common than either realizes, and as their stories unfold, we wait to see if their paths will cross. Sophie needs Eve, but does Eve need Sophie?

There is a subplot involving a mysterious person out to harm Sophie. At first I couldn’t decide if I liked that story or not, but it grew on me, largely because of what it helped engineer. I also wasn’t sure I liked Sophie. She’s spoiled and clueless, and she lives such an insulated life that she has no idea that she has no friends. But she rings true, and the more I got to know her, the more I liked her.

Eve is intriguing as well. Unlike Sophie, Eve’s foray into Hollywood was all about the work. She accepted stardom in stride, but it wasn’t fuel for her. Acting was. This is something Sophie needs to rediscover for herself; whereas Eve bolts from Hollywood when she realizes that it demands more than she cares to give, Sophie is willing to keep giving. She wants the fame more than Eve ever did.

I enjoyed this book a great deal. I wanted to find out if Eve and Sophie would meet, and I wanted to know if Sophie would be happy. Harriet Evans writes in a breezy, approachable style that pulls you in to the women’s stories and keeps you there, turning pages and getting more and more hooked.


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Filed under chick lit, romance

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