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Review of "The Glimmer Palace" by Beatrice Colin

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The Glimmer Palace
by Beatrice Colin

Penguin Audio
Audio CD
$39.95 Suggested Retail Price

This historical novel tells the story of Lilly Nelly Aphrodite who was born just before 1900 in Berlin. Following the murder of her parents, she was raised in a Catholic orphanage where she becomes drawn to an equally damaged young nun. But another of the orphans shows her the world outside, where she learns how brutal and banal life can be in a big city. Lilly finds a place for herself in small "health" films, which are thinly veiled soft porn, and ultimately works her way up in the industry. Following the ravages of World War I, Lilly makes her way to Hollywood to try to find better roles and better pay. But a few years later, she is called back to Germany to work in Hitler's propaganda machine.

As we follow Lilly, we watch as Germany passes through two world wars and gain insights into their origins. But it is the emotional and physical challenges that Lilly faces during these years of social upheaval that keep our interest. Her transition from orphan to maid to secretary to film actress makes us think about courage, justice, and missed opportunities.

Rainbo Electronic Reviews published this review in our November, 2008 issue.

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