Two high school kids in small town Nebraska have their dreams. Zee, a minister’s daughter, wants to be a movie star. Doyle, the son of a wealthy lawyer, is expected to follow in his father’s footsteps and practice law. But World War I explodes and changes everyone’s plans. When Doyle ends up on the battlefields of France, though he performs ably, he comes out disillusioned. Rejecting his parents’ pleas to return to school, he finds himself in Los Angeles on the bottom rung of society.
Unknown to him, Zee Miller is also in L. A., having run away from her father and the religion of her youth. But when Doyle gets back into law, and Zee is arrested for murder, their lives will intersect again, in a way that may shatter them both.
This is a spectacular historical epic with vivid dialogue and characters. James Scott Bell is a master of storytelling and this was a true dive into the early 1900s and the dawn of Hollywood.
Once I started this book, I simply couldn’t put it down.
Zee is a fantastic character with so many ups and downs, you’ll think you’re strapped in at Six Flags. Still, you can’t help but love her. The same goes for Doyle, from the battlefields of Europe to the rails of the west coast.
This one of Bell’s few historicals—he is most well known for his suspense and mystery writing—but I’ll be sure to get every one of his historical fiction. It was simply an experience I want to relive again and again. If you’re looking for an escape into another time and place, pick up Glimpses of Paradise.