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Author: Jane Allen

Genre: General Fiction

Publisher: Vintage

Published: November 5, 2019

Book Description: A lost literary gem of Hollywood in the 1930s, I Lost My Girlish Laughter is a thinly veiled send-up of the actors, producers, writers, and directors of the Golden Age of the studio system.

Madge Lawrence, fresh from New York City, lands a job as the personal secretary to the powerful Hollywood producer Sidney Brand (based on the legendary David O. Selznick). In a series of letters home, Western Union telegrams, office memos, Hollywood gossip newspaper items, and personal journal entries, we get served up the inside scoop on all the shenanigans, romances, backroom deals, and betrayals that go into making a movie.


The action revolves around the production of Brand’s latest blockbuster, meant to be a star vehicle to introduce his new European bombshell (the real-life Marlene Dietrich). Nevermind that the actress can’t act, Brands’ negotiations with MGM to get Clark Gable to play the male lead are getting nowhere, and the Broadway play he’s bought for the screenplay is reworked so that it is unrecognizable to its author. In this delicious satire of the film business, one is never very far from the truth of what makes Hollywood tick and why we all love it.

Rating: 3 Stars

Review: This book was originally written in the late 1930’s and is considered a lost gem. The book is an epistolary novel, told in letters and journal entries and even Western Union Transmissions.

This book centers around Madge who becomes a secretary for a big Hollywood producer, which the author(s) did have the understanding of the life. There are recognizable stars out there, just under pseudonym.

This is an inventive story and an extremely quick read. If you want a little more insight to how a movie was made in the golden age, than have fun reading this one.

Thank you NetGalley and Vintage for an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Posted by:Lauren A.

You really can say I am an obsessed reader as I read 200-300 books per year. I love Literary Fiction, Memoirs (I don't really care what kind), Mysteries and Thrillers. Once in awhile I will thrown in some YA and Romance. When I am not reading, I am a Sales Engineer for a software company, and I take care of my three cats with my husband. I love music, which my college degree is in. Looking forward to share my thoughts on all things reading.

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