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Star Quality    by Joan Collins order for
Star Quality
by Joan Collins
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio
* *   Reviewed by Rashmi Srinivas

In the year 1917, when poor Irish girl Millie McClancey comes to work in one of the posh London homes, she's astounded by the modern miracles of electricity, cars, toasters and vacuum cleaners. But what captures her heart and imagination is the theatre. After being compromised and later rejected by the young master of the house, Millie gives birth to her daughter Victoria, and then takes to the English music halls. Her smoldering sensuality and superb voice soon make her the toast of London. From there to Broadway is a natural step, and soon America bows at Millie's dainty but untouchable feet.

Millie is the first of four generations of extremely beautiful and talented women, who set society by its ears. All end up as symbols of women's emancipation and trendsetters of fashion. In the 1940s, Millie's daughter Victoria succeeds beyond her wildest dreams as a much sought-after Hollywood sex symbol. But after all the success in the world, Vicky still ends up like her mother - true love evades her. In the 1980s, Vicky's phenomenally beautiful and wild daughter Lulu causes much controversy as a top New York runway model. In the 2000s, Lulu's fabulously sexy daughter goes on to become a teenage rock sensation. But dogging them all throughout the years is an unstable and maniacal woman, whose hatred for Millie knows no boundaries, and who will stop at nothing to destroy them all.

Star Quality is a saga that spans nearly a century. It's the tale of the triumphs and tragedies of four women linked by blood, who prove to have that elusive 'star quality' that makes them a stupendous success in the glittery and ever-shifting world of showbiz, regardless of era. Though the story is clich9d and the plot has glaring inconsistencies, the charismatic women and their lifestyles hold the reader's interest, as do the changing times, trends and fashions, seen through their lives. The vendetta angle provides some suspense, though it fizzes out in the end. Overall, the book reads like a movie story and though there is not much depth to it, it is entertaining.

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