REVIEW: A Woman of Integrity by J David Simons
Finding herself to be on the wrong side of fifty for a female film star, Laura Scott’s career is on the slide. She has an opportunity to reverse this downward spiral when she is offered the starring role in a one-woman play about the life and loves of Hollywood silent screen actress turned pioneering pilot, Georgie Hepburn. Laura jumps at the chance for Georgie is someone she has admired for her courage and integrity ever since she was a child. But as Laura discovers more about Georgie, she realises there is always a price to pay for integrity – in her own life as well as Georgie’s.
Dear Mr. Simons,
Once again I was seduced into reading a blurb by a lovely cover. I’m weak that way. The blurb then invited me closer and reeled me in. I have read about and witnessed what the film industry does with older actresses. I myself am a woman of a certain age and so Laura’s situation strikes closer to home than it used to. So I was cheering for her from the beginning. Would she show Hollywood up and still keep her head held high? I couldn’t wait to find out.
Laura is easy to read about. She seems like a friend. She’s got some mileage under the hood but a lot of experience as well. She’s at the age when we stop constantly calculating every word we say and can lay it on the line. She’s someone I’d like to meet.
Georgie though is the stuff of which legends are made. Well, if she wanted to put herself forward and in the spotlight long enough for that fuss. She’s independent in an age that had only just started seeing women like her and still wasn’t too sure about it. She charted her own course and stuck to it. When confronted by a demand she couldn’t accept, she stuck to her guns despite what anyone else said or did to her. She also has the strength to give up something because it’s the right thing to do.
Telling the story in alternate chapters about Georgie’s life and Laura’s efforts to access the material and bring the play to life kept me on the edge of my seat. This is the type of book I love: one that I can’t tell what’s going to happen next. The rollercoaster events had me madly turning pages and staying up later than I planned. Watching Laura rise to the challenges thrown at her and maintain her poise, all while getting her own back did make me think that she and Georgie would have liked each other and gotten along. I enjoyed watching both of them stay true to themselves and what they felt was important – often in the face of tremendous odds. This is a story I’m glad I read. B+