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Glimpses of Paradise
by James Scott Bell

Category: Fiction / Historical
411 pages; ISBN: 0764226487

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

Glimpses of Paradise
James Scott Bell
Bethany House, Apr 2005, $12.99, 411 pp.
ISBN: 0764226487

In Nebraska, teenager Zee Miller, a minister's daughter, looks forward to leaving town for Hollywood stardom though her parents object to her dreams. Her friend Doyle Lawrence is being pressured by his wealthy father to follow in his footsteps by studying law though the lad has doubts. However, World War I shatters everyone’s thoughts of the future with Doyle dropping out of school to fight overseas while Zee heads to the bright lights of Los Angeles.

After serving in France, Doyle returns burned out with no desire to please his father by studying law. He drifts around until he arrives in Los Angeles; at the same time Zee remains below the Hollywood food chain. When these former idealistic high school pals meet, Zee is climbing the ladder using the alias of Taylor Layne while Doyle has met his beloved Molly. However, a murder with Taylor on trial and more will devastate their world, but a glimmer of hope radiates between them that faith and love can bring miracles even when sacrifice and tragedy occur.

GLIMPSES OF PARADISE is a fabulous historical fiction novel that brings to life the aftereffect of World War I on a former GI and on someone so removed from the fighting mindful of those like this reviewer “sacrificing” nothing while soldiers fight in Iraq. The story line is action-packed yet driven by Doyle and Zee. Readers will understand his disillusionment with everything until Molly comes along. Zee also loses her idealism as she is grinded by the Hollywood beat. Yet through all this darkness, a light of hope begins to twinkle as James Scott Bell provides a fine 1920s tale that feels so relevant today.

Harriet Klausner

 

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