Friday, March 12, 2010

Seeing Stars-Diane Hammond

Seeing Stars
Diane Hammond
Harper, Mar 23 2010, $13.99
ISBN: 9780061863158

Ruth Rabinowitz knows her thirteen years old daughter Bethany is destined for stardom in Hollywood. Thus, she leaves behind her husband (Bethany’s dad) and takes her teen to Los Angeles where she expects instant status.

As Bethany’s manager Mimi Roberts renames her Bethany Ann Roosevelt, the child enters the world of humiliating rejections while her mom continues Seeing Stars. Bethany meets other teen wannabes with more experience at being cast off. Laurel hopes to be a star before her dying mom passes away. Allison the Texan has personal issues that interfere with her acting desires. Quinn, also from Seattle like Bethany is, has been abandoned by her abusive stepfather and ineffective mother, which makes Mimi her surrogate parent.

Fascinatingly the story line focuses mostly on the stage mother and her offspring as they face rounds of degrading rebuffs, yet the stereotyped three other teens steal the show with their personal troubles. In fact Ruth’s epiphany about motherhood and stage motherhood detracts from the tense character driven saga of a teen trying to make it in Hollywood where the norm is debasing oneself only to receive demeaning dismissal.

Harriet Klausner

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