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The Looking Glass Goddess

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Mysterious and seductive, Libby Durant is a woman with a past. Running from a world of nightmares, she escapes to a land of illusion, Hollywood in the 1920s. With skills bordering on the occult, she turns silent screen shadows into silver screen legends, and in a few short years builds a powerful commercial empire. But at what cost? No one knows that Libby's greatest accom Mysterious and seductive, Libby Durant is a woman with a past. Running from a world of nightmares, she escapes to a land of illusion, Hollywood in the 1920s. With skills bordering on the occult, she turns silent screen shadows into silver screen legends, and in a few short years builds a powerful commercial empire. But at what cost? No one knows that Libby's greatest accomplishment is her own disguise, at least no one until Griffin Gardner enters her world, a man with a shadowy past as well. Will they be swallowed up in this maelstrom of danger and deceit? Join Amanda Hughes as she immerses you in the decadent world of wealth and power that is Prohibition America of the 1920s.


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Mysterious and seductive, Libby Durant is a woman with a past. Running from a world of nightmares, she escapes to a land of illusion, Hollywood in the 1920s. With skills bordering on the occult, she turns silent screen shadows into silver screen legends, and in a few short years builds a powerful commercial empire. But at what cost? No one knows that Libby's greatest accom Mysterious and seductive, Libby Durant is a woman with a past. Running from a world of nightmares, she escapes to a land of illusion, Hollywood in the 1920s. With skills bordering on the occult, she turns silent screen shadows into silver screen legends, and in a few short years builds a powerful commercial empire. But at what cost? No one knows that Libby's greatest accomplishment is her own disguise, at least no one until Griffin Gardner enters her world, a man with a shadowy past as well. Will they be swallowed up in this maelstrom of danger and deceit? Join Amanda Hughes as she immerses you in the decadent world of wealth and power that is Prohibition America of the 1920s.

30 review for The Looking Glass Goddess

  1. 4 out of 5

    Regan Walker

    Love and Danger in Early Hollywood While it begins in Minneapolis in 1910, most of the story is set in Hollywood in the 1920s. It’s the story of Elizabeth (“Libby”) Durant whose family is given to madness. Libby herself bears scars from her mother’s knife attack, though she seems to have escaped the family’s madness. After some false starts, at eighteen, she seeks a new life in Hollywood where she becomes a talented makeup artist for the budding stars. This gains her the title “Goddess of the Loo Love and Danger in Early Hollywood While it begins in Minneapolis in 1910, most of the story is set in Hollywood in the 1920s. It’s the story of Elizabeth (“Libby”) Durant whose family is given to madness. Libby herself bears scars from her mother’s knife attack, though she seems to have escaped the family’s madness. After some false starts, at eighteen, she seeks a new life in Hollywood where she becomes a talented makeup artist for the budding stars. This gains her the title “Goddess of the Looking Glass.” Much of the story is told from the heroine’s perspective (the hero isn’t introduced until nearly halfway thorough the book). Libby is an independent, rebellious and very modern young woman, sleeping with whomever she likes and smoking up a storm. (It might be Prohibition but the liquor flows freely.) Libby knows what she wants and is clever at getting it. Cosmetics, makeup and creating looks are her passion. In Hollywood, Libby’s cousin “Pepper” joins her and takes up acting. They both maintain ties with the family back in Minneapolis. Libby has several affairs before meeting Griffin Gardner, a talented cameraman. He and Libby are an item for a time, but when they have a falling off, she takes up with his best friend, thinking nothing of sharing the man’s bed. As the story progresses, treachery comes to light and Libby and her family are in suddenly danger from a ruthless man seeking revenge. The author has done considerable research into the early days of Hollywood, giving us a picture of life in the fast lane during Prohibition. It was fascinating to learn more of the early film industry and how the stars gained their image on the Silver Screen. Kudos to the author for deep research. While love comes late in the story, you will enjoy the romance.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sunhawk

    I struggled with this book. Good story, thoughtfully plotted, and interesting enough to keep me slogging through the illiteracies. It's a bodice-ripper, but an interesting one, as it's the same woman's bodice getting ripped throughout. But: How could this book *possibly* be shortlisted for a statewide prize? The book read like parts of it were competently edited -- dozens of pages at a time read like they were written by a native English speaker -- and parts apparently hadn't even been given a s I struggled with this book. Good story, thoughtfully plotted, and interesting enough to keep me slogging through the illiteracies. It's a bodice-ripper, but an interesting one, as it's the same woman's bodice getting ripped throughout. But: How could this book *possibly* be shortlisted for a statewide prize? The book read like parts of it were competently edited -- dozens of pages at a time read like they were written by a native English speaker -- and parts apparently hadn't even been given a second glance by the author. Hobos don't "lay in the gutter" unless they have a job laying tile (or eggs); they *lie* in the gutter. Is the upper Midwest where the English language goes to die? Awkward, voyeuristic sex scenes were the worst -- Amanda, couldn't bring yourself to read again? Two glaring errors on page 246. Many "throw Mama from the train a kiss"-type errors: ..."Haydn appeared at the lodge full of apologies..." Here's Griff ravishing our heroine (page 279): "I going to be here for you always..." The devolution of writing is partly the fault of Kindle Direct Publishing and its imitators: I agree that anyone should be able to write a book ...but I wish the Amazon reviewers were more honest when they review books, so I could take a miss on the unedited and poorly written ones.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    1910 - Minnesota Mrs. Lillian Durant, widow of Arthur Durant, was taken into custody after a second attack on her 10-year-old daughter, Elizabeth (Libby). The child now resides with her grandmother. 1917 - Minnesota Libby has just returned home after spending 7 years at Beardsley Hall, a boarding school. Her mother recently committed suicide. The woman had been mentally ill for a long time. Many family members have been afflicted with what appears to be an inherited madness. Libby has a sister, Jen 1910 - Minnesota Mrs. Lillian Durant, widow of Arthur Durant, was taken into custody after a second attack on her 10-year-old daughter, Elizabeth (Libby). The child now resides with her grandmother. 1917 - Minnesota Libby has just returned home after spending 7 years at Beardsley Hall, a boarding school. Her mother recently committed suicide. The woman had been mentally ill for a long time. Many family members have been afflicted with what appears to be an inherited madness. Libby has a sister, Jennie, who was not attacked by their mother, but Jennie has attacked others and is now hospitalized. Libby’s Grandmother Brennan is the only close relative left other than her cousin, Pepper. Grandmother wants Libby and Pepper to continue with their education. The two girls have always been close and have been known to get into mischief together. Soon, Libby grows bored with school and quits. She enjoys going to the theater. When she meets a man named Rudy who works at the theater, he gets her a job as a cleaner to allow her to experience the backstage. She is fascinated with the makeup the performers use and buys some to experiment with. When Libby experiences some tragedies in her life, she decides to move to Hollywood and begins doing makeup for movie stars, thus earning the name, Goddess of the Looking Glass. Her cousin Pepper follows her and becomes an actress. But, danger lurks that could destroy Libby and her entire family. This is a fabulous story that builds beautifully. The writing keeps the readers interest and turning pages. I did not want to put the book down. Don’t miss it. This book is a real winner. Copy provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Good Read This is a good book for people who love romantic thrillers. The hype was somewhat misleading. The author's writing mechanics were good. The book was free from Bookbub. It was not my kind of read, but the Hollywood history was interesting. I liked reading about cinematography and make-up artistry. Thank you, Ms. Hughes, for a good read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chele Kispert

    Fantastic Amanda, you've done it yet again!! I love the way she writes. Her stories are gripping. This one even more than the last. Her tales don't drag, doesn't use a phrase repeatedly. She really writes well. As someone from Minnesota, I know some history of the Twin Cities, have been to or around some of settings. Amanda does her research, and keeps you lured into her story. Thanks for another amazing tale. Keep writing, I'll keep reading.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Hall

    Twisted This book wove so many stories into the plot. Very well done! Very well written. History and intrigue and action. Great

  7. 4 out of 5

    Martha B.

    A saga of extreme loss and extreme redemption. Lillian Durant suffers from schizophrenia. Which explains why she stabbed and scarred her 10 year old daughter Libby. What happens over the next 18 years is the interesting and engrossing saga of The Looking Glass Goddess by Amanda Hughes. I've read a number of Ms. Hughes' books and they all have the following attributes in common. They are all lengthy. They are all well written and well researched. They are all detailed and descriptive. They all have we A saga of extreme loss and extreme redemption. Lillian Durant suffers from schizophrenia. Which explains why she stabbed and scarred her 10 year old daughter Libby. What happens over the next 18 years is the interesting and engrossing saga of The Looking Glass Goddess by Amanda Hughes. I've read a number of Ms. Hughes' books and they all have the following attributes in common. They are all lengthy. They are all well written and well researched. They are all detailed and descriptive. They all have well developed characters. They all have a happy ending, but not before having a great deal of sorrow. The Looking Glass Goddess did not disappoint. If you are willing to take your time and be patient, then you really should enjoy this novel. It completely immerses you into the early 29th century society, subcultures and even Hollywood. It is truly an entertaining book. Content alert: There is some moderate swearing (including religious expletives), but no “F” bombs. There is some passionate kissing and some referred-to intimacy, but no detailed sexual content. FYI: I also posted my review on Amazon (as Rural Reader) and with BookBub.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Priggs

    Loved the main setting- Hollywood during the prohibition and silent film era. The other setting was Minnesota. The author lives there, so there were shout-outs to Duluth, Twin Cities etc... Liked the premise. Elite dysfunctional family (with a heaping helping of insanity) which includes a bored and damaged socialite seeking adventure and purpose. The self-made make up "goddess"/business mogul rises through the world of "photoplays" to rival Max Factor. Tragedy and danger is woven through every ot Loved the main setting- Hollywood during the prohibition and silent film era. The other setting was Minnesota. The author lives there, so there were shout-outs to Duluth, Twin Cities etc... Liked the premise. Elite dysfunctional family (with a heaping helping of insanity) which includes a bored and damaged socialite seeking adventure and purpose. The self-made make up "goddess"/business mogul rises through the world of "photoplays" to rival Max Factor. Tragedy and danger is woven through every other chapter. Don't like the title. Didn't appreciate that it seemed Hughes pressed the fast forward button at times and then the slo mo button during others. Hated the lack of editing. A speak easy was referred to as a bling pig and then blind pig- bling pig is wrong- but sounds like way more fun! Many typos and missing and redundant words: ...Olivia was reading. The room was all windows..... Olivia was sitting at a white wrought iron table, reading. (Yeah, you just said that 2 sentences ago- I got it!) I was really in and out of this one.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy Wiley

    From the moment I opened this book, I was transported to the 1920s and immersed in the lives of fascinating characters. This was the era of prohibition, the rise of Hollywood and movies, and social changes for women. I swear reading this book made me wonder if the author had gone back in time to experience this era herself. The detailed descriptions of the homes, studios, makeup, actors, movies, clothing, cars and trains, and a thousand other details made the book extremely realistic. On top of From the moment I opened this book, I was transported to the 1920s and immersed in the lives of fascinating characters. This was the era of prohibition, the rise of Hollywood and movies, and social changes for women. I swear reading this book made me wonder if the author had gone back in time to experience this era herself. The detailed descriptions of the homes, studios, makeup, actors, movies, clothing, cars and trains, and a thousand other details made the book extremely realistic. On top of the realism was a plot that spun subplots and intrigue. Well done Amanda Hughes!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Linda Gildner

    Slow in getting there An haunting story of two young women who have experienced loss trying to navigate their lives forward with only each other and their dreams. Impacted by ghosts from the past, danger that becomes very real, and desperate need for love, the characters don't know whom they can trust. This leads to an exciting, tense ending. However, Hughes took a long time to establish the plot and was slow to engage reader interest.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carol A. Ewing

    Good historical novel What prompted a woman to build a cosmetic empire in a world where women are not supposed to do that? Elizabeth Durant did it by pulling up her own bootstraps so to speak. She did the work and overcame almost insurmountable odds. A great story and encouraging. Nice to have a happy ending.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    This book was especially fun because it takes place partly in Minneapolis, my home town. It felt very different from her other books because of a more modern setting. The later part of the story which takes place in L.A. gives you a interesting glimpse behind the scenes of movie making.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Derith Rolfe

    Put it on your holiday list I enjoyed this, even though it's not really my kind of thing. It was fast-paced, and a bit cliché, but nonetheless very enjoyable. Not heart thumping stuff, but not a bad read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Boho Beannie

    I don’t know how this has such good reviews. The overall story is fine, romance. But the writing is excruciating! Everyone is smart, lovely, the finest. No details beyond surface platitudes. The dialogue was better, but it was painful.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maryam J.

    Fabulous What a wonderful story. The characters are well described and very interesting. The plot moved along well with a lot of twists and turns to keep you interested . Great story, with a great ending.

  16. 4 out of 5

    M M

    I was hooked into the story from the first chapter. I will read more by this author.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Necessary

    This book tells the story of a young woman who follow her dreams and becomes a makeup artist rivaling Max Factor in the very early days of films.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lihsa

    DNF. This book is about mental illness in historic San Francisco. The depiction and treatment of mental illness was too disturbing for me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Hetzel

    A disappointment. It started strong and then became an impossible melodrama that tested reality. I slugged.through but would not Recommend others start.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    Fun Mystery A well written mystery with great characters and a fantastic plot. An intriguing story with lots of description. A fun read with plenty of surprises.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Connie Jackson

    A page turner. This book is a page turner. I was hooked from the start and could not put it down until it was finished.

  22. 4 out of 5

    C S

    A good read This book had me griped from the off I just had to keep reading it had every thing love history crime plus the start off hollywood

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Bridges

    What an interesting look into the early days of Hollywood. Fascinating characters.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Free on Kindle

  26. 5 out of 5

    Madz8591

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carolynn

  28. 4 out of 5

    jeane gratop

  29. 4 out of 5

    Phillip Brumm

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Ryan

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