REVIEW: Sister Stardust by Jane Green

Posted April 11th, 2022 by in Blog, HJ Top Pick!, Review / 0 comments


Sister Stardust by Jane Green: In good ‘Ol Dionysian fashion, if you have to ask if it is enough, it simply isn’t – life and all its wondrous delight is there for those who have the eyes to see it, and thus we meet Claire, late into her presumed 70s, and find ourselves bookended by an attic relic and suspended into Claire’s youthful memories as she comes clean to her daughter following her late husbands passing. And the story she conveys, is almost unbelievable – of a time when the social revolution was in full swing, and hedonism in all its glory carved demarcation lines of such extreme highs and lows it’s a wonder anyone escaped alive. Except of course some do – Claire, or indeed CeCe did, and as her daughter is told, she has remained tight lipped on a brief time in her life and right of passage, when Claire’s life as she began living it, really began.

Seduced by the romantic notion of moving to London in the late 60s, mousy Claire is given the gift of early adulthood when her step-mother Linda – literally cast from every 1950s mold, kicks her our for little more then eating her chocolate biscuits. Seizing the opportunity with both hands, Claire embraces the bold step, and spends a few nights homeless before scoring a job, and a random night out via bus trip introduces her to a world she only read about in the magazines, or indeed, her wildest dreams.

Before long, we are thrust into a Moroccan paradise, and the lives of the post-adolescent rich and famous whose extreme behaviour shaped much of the world as we know it today, becomes the literal canvas for Claire to shape herself, come to terms with her mother’s death and for perhaps the first time, feel like she belongs. Except of course, what remains painfully true, for even wiser older Claire in the re-telling, is perhaps we have lost our romanticism, we no longer chase dreams with the same abandon and the warning labels on all of our packets teach us to fear the unknown rather than to step into desire with sensible abandon.

For me, this novel was glorious – both viciously frightening and surreptitiously real – that social class will forever be a thing for those British born and stardom will forever have a price no matter how many beautiful walls they can build around them. And whilst old Claire’s retelling to her daughter served no more than a literary device, it did provide some insight all the same – live life with abandon, take risks and be prepared to fall in love openly, willingly and with total abandon, and to never look back if you survive to tell the tale. With delicious extremes presented on every sensory level, this is a fabulous read and I highly recommend.

Book Info:

Publication: 5th April 2022 | Hanover Square Press |

From afar Talitha’s life seemed perfect. In her twenties, and already a famous model and actress, she moved from London to a palace in Marrakesh, with her husband Paul Getty, the famous oil heir. There she presided over a swirling ex-pat scene filled with music, art, free love and a counterculture taking root across the world.

When Claire arrives in London from her small town, she never expects to cross paths with a woman as magnetic as Talitha Getty. Yearning for the adventure and independence, she’s swept off to Marrakesh, where the two become kindred spirits. But beneath Talitha’s glamourous facade lurks a darkness few can understand. As their friendship blossoms and the two grow closer, the realities of Talitha’s precarious existence set off a chain of dangerous events that could alter Claire’s life forever.



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