Our Town is the debut of a striking literary voice, one that captures the disillusion at the fringes of Hollywood as seen through a haze of drugs, alcohol, abuse, and fallen aspirations. An unseen narrator guides us through the dark fairy tale of Dorothy White, an aspiring actress who “never quite figured how to get out of her own way.” Her perfect marriage to an equally golden actor, Dale, quickly turns into one of jealousy and violence. Dorothy ends the marriage yet begins a legacy of self-destruction for the failed couple, as well as their two children, Clover and Dylan.
But we see the pathos in Dorothy’s attempts to get back on track, to be a good woman, mother, and grandmother. Throughout the novel, she is left in the wake of decisions that turn disastrous. Her downward spiral from elusive fame into consistent infamy—a series of DUIs, the continuing neglect of her children, a string of failed and unhealthy relationships—is not without its grace, with the warmth of her character shining through her spackled makeup and cloud of acrid perfume. In many ways, Dorothy White is an anti-heroine for the ages—“vanilla voiced,” bewigged, loving, and ever radiant —a sympathetic character caught in the riptide of her transformation from small-town southern girl to one-time toast of Hollywood to embarrassing tabloid fodder.
Our Town is an original and startling debut novel, one whose fresh voice and expert perspective reinvents the Hollywood story for a new generation of readers.