Friday, June 17, 2016

Book Review: "Fading Starlight" by Kathryn Cushman


Fading Starlight
Kathryn Cushman

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When Her Big Shot Blows Up on Her,
How Far Will One Woman Go to Regain Her Dream?

Lauren Summers is in hiding. Her fashion house internship was supposed to launch her career, but a red carpet accident has left her blackballed. The only job she can find comes with little pay, but at least it offers a free place to live--a run-down cottage in the shadow of a cliff-side mansion. Planning to live on savings until she figures out what's next, she's unprepared to be contacted by a reporter.

Kendall Joiner is researching Charlotte Montgomery, a former Hollywood ingénue who lives a reclusive life in the cliff-side mansion. Rumors have swirled for decades about Charlotte, and now Kendall wants to find the real story. In return, she may just have the key to getting Lauren back into the fashion world. Desperate to restore her dreams, Lauren's not sure she can turn down the offer--but as she and Miss Montgomery get to know more about each other, Lauren realizes nothing is quite as it seems.


Just as Laura’s career in fashion gets off to a great beginning, it comes to a dramatic end in a red carpet catastrophe. Laura is devastated, until a former professor references her to another fashion job willing to hire her. A temporary living space is provided, but it turns out to be a seaside cottage in a kind of gated community with extremely strict rules and cranky neighbors. As Laura is settling in, a reporter promises to investigate a possible sabotage in the fashion disaster if Laura agrees to spy on one of those neighbors. But that neighbor and reporter may have more going on than meets the eye.

Fading Starlight was a sweet inspirational story with beautiful settings, complex characters, and fascinating historical details. I especially enjoyed the different details on fashion, sewing, and jewelry. 

What happens when someone is so hurt by the betrayals of the past that she can't move forward with her life or trust the people around her? This story explores some of the consequences and contrasts them with other characters who have been similarly betrayed yet recovered. It was an interesting study on human beings as well as a sweet tale of friendship, recovery, and faith.

Laura’s Christian faith was also interesting to see. I wish I could say that I would have acted differently in the story - loved my neighbor better, mainly - but I believe Laura's reactions to be realistic and my expectations to be unrealistic. Even so, not many would have reacted as well as Laura did in the situations presented to her. It was good to see her grow in her faith and love for others in this manner throughout the story.

That said, I don't particularly like the “inspiration fiction” genre and this book was no exception. It was interesting in its way, but it still bored me because of its slow pace and lack of much action. The ending was pretty neat, though.

I recommend this book to those who enjoy inspirational, Christian fiction.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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