Headstrong, fun-loving, fifteen-year-old Cal (short for "Calamity") Ames gets a crash course on the subject when a series of events transports her from a cozy life in Dallas to the sound stage of a teen flick in Los Angeles. Teaching her all she needs to know about acting-and life-is seasoned character actor Leonard Rhoads, who is wiser, more complex, and more dedicated to his craft than moviegoers would ever know. From Nate Jenkins, teen heartthrob of the screen but obnoxious egomaniac in real life, Cal learns of the darker side of fame. In this business, talent is often disregarded, untruths flourish, and misbehavior is swept under the rug. How would such an experience change Cal's young life? Would she hold fast to her principles, or succumb to the ever-present temptations of her new environment?
Originally written as a series of four novels, the "Cal stories" have now been incorporated into one volume. Cal's story begins in 1963. As she grows and blossoms in Part 1, we experience with her the joys and pain of her new life, and we learn with her the intricacies of the profession that Leonard holds dear. In her young-adult years of Part 2, she suffers a devastating loss and a nightmarish relationship turns lethal, but marriage and an expansion of her career to the Broadway stage open new worlds for her. With motherhood in Part 3 come the rockiest years of Cal's marriage. How odd it is that her best acting is done when her personal life is in shambles! Heart-wrenching loss and happy, new beginnings mark Cal's middle years in Part 4. It is a time of surprising relationships and the fulfillment of her professional dreams-the creation of her own production company, with funding from the most unlikely source of all.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I don't normally read novels, but knew that this one was very special, so I made an exception in this case. Once I began reading, I was hooked, always wondering what would happen next. It's actually a series of 4 novels (with the same characters as they age), spanning from the time Cal was a 15-year-old smart-mouth newby to a 40-something producer/director. We learn so much about show-biz in this book from someone who obviously has much knowledge of that world. Except for "fiction," this book doesn't fit any one genre. Just like life, it encompasses adventure, pathos, tragedy, and humor, with no character being all good or all bad. I think this book would appeal most to women; and I liked it very, very much.