BOOK CLUB: The Studio Girls

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The Studio Girls by Australian author Lisa Ireland is enticing, mesmerising and rich in emotion, real-life historical fiction.

Set in 1955, Los Angeles Hollywood the story intertwines between years and four young women yearning for success and fulfilled dreams. They find themselves living together at the Hollywood Studio Club, a famous boarding house for those wanting to succeed in Tinseltown. 

Sadie Shore is full of ideas and has little interest in becoming an actress. Her dream is to become a successful scriptwriter and moving to Hollywood was the perfect place to perfect her craft. 

Vivienne Lockhart, Peggy Carmichael and Julia Newman are longing for leading roles in a major movie. Each is at a different stage in their career, but will years of hard work and rejections pay off before they finally land that coveted “yes”?

The Studio Girls is one of those books that is short enough to keep your attention and long enough to make an impact. Lisa Ireland has a marvellous eye for detail and such a way with words; effortlessly she describes for us the perfect image of 1950s Hollywood and fills it to the brim with angst and nostalgia. 

Everything is so clear and vibrant, as she knows this era like the back of her hand. I felt like I was sitting in a movie theatre watching it all play out while reading this book.

I am all praises for the author’s crafting of the characters, reflecting the era of bombshells and sex symbols, they are very likable, believable, human, and imperfect. I especially liked how these women came together to support each other in a male-dominated industry.

Whilst there is heartbreak, scandal, and jealousy they each had one another with a will to push ahead, remain strong and fulfil their dreams of becoming successful in their chosen field. 

The dialogue was exceptional, the pace was perfect, and the overall feel of the story was realistic. There were some unexpected surprises here and there which made it an exciting read and kept me turning the pages until I found that I had come to the end. It was simply, yet tastefully, smartly, and cleverly written that when I finished, I wanted more. 

Everything about this cover is perfect, I really enjoy the way the type, colour, and image masterfully work together. It is beautiful and mysterious and manages to capture the era. I love how it will appeal to a contemporary audience without abandoning the spirit of the novel. A definite standout on a bookshelf. 

Wow is the very first word that comes to mind when I think about the experience I had while reading The Studio Girls. I loved this book and everything about it, the setting, the era, the clothes, and the culture. For all of you 1950s Hollywood fans out there, this book is a must for you.  I highly recommend it. 

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading The Studio Girls by Lisa Ireland. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

5 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Studio Girls

  1. Thanks Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read Lisa Ireland’s The Studio Girls. If you enjoyed The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo you will love this book. The setting is 1950’s Hollywood with budding actresses Vivienne, Julia and Peggy and Sadie who wants to write scripts – the girls all live together in The Hollywood Studio Club a type of boarding house for up and coming actresses. Their lives intertwine and we follow their journey of success, secrets, tears and dreams then 40 years later their paths cross and secrets are revealed and past deeds forgiven. A really enjoyable read.
    I gave this book 5 stars

  2. This book is amazing!!!! Definitely one of Lisa’s best and one of my top reads for this year. I couldn’t put it down. Such an excellent and well written story. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the chance to read this fantastic book.

  3. The Studio Girls by Lisa Ireland ( Penguin Books Australia) is a fascinating story of love, rivalries, ambition and friendship primarily set during the 50’s and the ‘Golden Age of Hollywood’.

    It follows the fortunes of Julia, Peggy and Vivienne, young wannabe movie stars and Sadie, an aspiring screenwriter. In the 50’s these four young women form a close friendship, which helps them weather the ups and downs of their chosen careers as well as their chaotic love lives. However fast forward to the 90’s and it is clear that some kind of rift has caused a falling out…

    The Studio Girls is compelling reading. Not only does it show the glamour and glitz surrounding the young starlets who are dazzled by the promise of a career on the screen, it also shows the impossible choices and the restrictions placed on them by a very male dominated industry. In addition, it reveals the ruthless antics, the back stabbing and the ruined lives of those who don’t quite fit the image…

    Written with authentic detail and inspired by real life history, The Studio Girls is a captivating read and a revealing glimpse at Tinseltown, where image is everything, and the opulence and glamour often hide heartbreak and scandal. In my mind it would make a great tv series!

  4. Wow, wow, wow what a beautiful story of friendship between 4 young girls with ups and downs during their lives. From the first page I was captivated and wanted to read and finish the book but also wanted to take my time which I had to do due to some appts in between reading. In one day, I just read the rest of the pages and it really is a page turner.

    Showing my age here but the book reminded me of a tv show I used to watch called Brackens World with movie stars, producers, castings. This book could easily be made into a movie, and it would be so good.

    The author has drawn on an actual place that was around in the 40s, 50s & 60s where many actresses have stayed as young girls. The girls in this book are fictitious characters and their names are Sadie, Julia, Peggy & Vivienne. I loved all 4 of their stories. Three of them wanted to be actresses in Hollywood and Sadie just wanted to write a screenplay.

    They all became friends but as with friendships there is always turmoil, twists and turns, secrets and even sadness.

    I loved reading about the place where they lived, the costumes, I could imagine what they looked like. I was a part of the pages as I read.

    Throughout the book we go from 1955 when the girls were younger and then we would jump to 1999 but it was all done perfectly in that you did not get lost in the years. What I loved that really helped was when you read anything to do with the year 1999, the font would be different. I loved how the chapters would say the girl’s name on who we were reading. Exceptional work by the author or the publishers on doing this. There was no confusion when reading.

    The cover is stunning in that I almost wondered if the girl on the cover was ever in Neighbours and now lives in America. I highly recommend everyone to read this book and hopefully it will be made into a movie.

    Thank you, Beauty & Lace and Penguin Random House Australia, for sending me this fantabulous book to read. Keeping this one with other books I have as one day will read again.

    To Lisa Ireland the author, you have captured the essence of The Studio Girls magically and to me this is the book of the year.

  5. I absolutely loved Studio Girls. It revolves around the life of 4 friends who live together in the Hollywood Studio Club, a boarding house for upcoming women in the movie industry. The story is told in two different timelines, 1955 and 1999, but is really easy to follow. From ups and downs in friendships to the male dominated Hollywood industry, once you start reading you won’t want to put this down. Thank you to Beauty and Lace for letting me review this book.

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