The Cinema at Starlight Creek by Alli Sinclair. (2019).
**4 out of 5 stars**
Queensland, 1994: Claire is a location manager working on a TV miniseries when she’s captivated by Starlight Creek. She needs permission to film at an art deco cinema in Starlight Creek but there’s trouble; the cinema’s reclusive owner, Hattie, and Hattie’s enigmatic great nephew, Luke, stand in her way.
Hollywood, 1950: Lena has struggled to find the break that will catapult her into becoming a star with influence. She longs for roles about strong, independent women but with Hollywood engulfed in politics and a censorship matter battle, Lena’s timing is wrong. Lena is forced to keep her love affair secret and is putting her career on the line to fight for equality.
This is a really lovely book to read. Featuring dual timelines with Claire in 1994 and Lena in 1950, the reader gets to travel between a small country town in Australia and the glamour of Hollywood. What both the timelines have in common is that their leads, Claire and Lena, are both intelligent, strong and talented women who are trying to stand up for female equality in male dominated industries. I think while I did like Claire’s story, I was more drawn to Lena’s narrative (can’t go past Hollywood drama haha!). This is a thoroughly entertaining and engaging novel of strength, loss and love which fans of historical fiction (with a dash of romance) will enjoy.