Glimmer As You Can is Danielle Martin’s ode to a long ago past and how a community of women sacrifice for the pleasure of shared company, the opportunity to motivate and support each other and how they grow in spite of and away from their circumstances.
The novel is set in 1962 at a time when the societal restraints on women were severe so amidst all the limitations, it is beautiful to read about a place where ladies could get together and socialize and indulge their literary passions, even if they had to pay a high price for the pleasure. Glimmer As You Can alternates perspective to follow Lisa who is a young Pan Am Stewardess whose boyfriend has just jilted her, Elaine an engaged woman with a dream to work in the media but whose fiance relies on her to be his caretaker, and Madeline, the divorcee who walked away from the connections her marriage offered so she could run her own business. Alongside these three women, there are several other representations of womanhood showing various degrees of tolerance or disdain for the unequal treatment of women in the sixties.
Martin sets a very convincing scene in this historical novel, complete with mentions of the war in Vietnam, descriptions of fashion, lingo. food and the ceiling of expectations for women in a male-dominated world. However, Glimmer As You Can trains its focus on the timeless qualities of female friendship and support that will connect any reader to this heartwarming story of women championing for themselves and each other. And because the story centers around Brooklyn, it is a treat to view the former landscape and identify the changes that have been made in the decades since.
Glimmer As You Can is an enjoyable jaunt through a past I am happy not to have lived through and Danielle Martin created multidimensional, sympathetic female characters that would ache for the freedoms of today but who also display the strength to survive the definitions of their generation. I also enjoyed the Readers Club Guided Questions that were included in the back, as I think this story lends itself to comparison of gender roles and reception then and now.
Note: I received a complimentary cool of Glimmer As You Can from the publishers and TLC Book Tours in order to complete this review. I was not otherwise compensated ad the above reflects my honest review.
- Title: Glimmer As You Can
- Author: Danielle Martin
- Format: Hardcover
- Pages: 298
- Publisher:Alcove Press
- Publication Date: November 10, 2020
“A timely and beautiful story of female friendship and strength.” –Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Queen’s Fortune
“Martin deftly and exquisitely captures this historical moment.” –Jillian Cantor, USA Today bestselling author of In Another Time
In the glitz and glamor tradition of Beatriz Williams’s Tiny Little Thing and Fiona Davis’s The Chelsea Girls, Danielle Martin’s debut is “a love letter to…women” (Greer Macallister, The Magician’s Lie) that illustrates the courage of women and the strength of sisterhood.
Welcome to the Starlite. Let your true self shine.
1962. In the middle of Brooklyn Heights sits the Starlite: boutique dress shop by day, underground women’s club by night. Started by the shop’s proprietor after her marriage crumbled, Madeline’s social club soon becomes a safe haven for women from all walks of life looking for a respite from their troubled relationships and professional frustrations. These after-hour soirées soon bring two very different women into Madeline’s life–Elaine, a British ex-pat struggling to save her relationship, and Lisa, a young stewardess whose plans for the future are suddenly upended–irrevocably changing all three women’s lives in ways no one could have predicted.
But when Madeline’s ne’er-do-well ex-husband shows up again, the luster of Starlite quickly dampens. As the sisterhood rallies around Madeline, tension begins to eat at the club. When an unspeakable tragedy befalls their sorority, one woman must decide whether to hide the truth from the group or jeopardize her own hopes and dreams. Sure to appeal to readers of Kathleen Tessaro and Suzanne Rindell, Glimmer As You Can captures the heartbeat of an era and the ambitions of a generation of women living in a man’s world–a world threatened by a wave of change.