When three ambitious newcomers answer Hollywood’s siren call, they find an unlikely home at the Garden of Allah Hotel. It is there that they—a troubled screenwriter, an ace girl reporter, and an aspiring actress—forge the bonds of friendship that keep them hopeful, keep them reaching, and keep them loved in a town that wants to eat them alive.
Martin Turnbull’s Garden of Allah series transports you to the moment before talking pictures slugged Tinsel Town in the jaw. In 1927, luminous silent-screen star Alla Nazimova converted her Sunset Blvd estate into the Garden of Allah Hotel. Soon after she opened those lush grounds and receded into its shadows, some of Hollywood’s most talented hopefuls checked into her bungalows and began to meet, drink, and revel through the long Los Angeles nights.
George Cukor swims laps in the Black-Sea-shaped pool, Tallulah Bankhead knocks back martinis by the bucketload in the Sahara Bar, and Scott Fitzgerald slips behind the bougainvillea with his lover, Sheilah Graham.
When Marcus Adler, Kathryn Massey, and Gwendolyn Brick move in and make friends, we’re whisked along with them to leap and lurch, live and love through Hollywood’s golden years.
If you like Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City books, you’ll love getting lost in the Garden of Allah.
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