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The Beauty of the End
Debbie Howells

from FictionZeal.com re: Fading Starlight by Kathryn Cushman

Fading Starlight - Kathryn Cushman

A wardrobe malfunction … that’s how this began.  Lauren Summers is an intern fashion designer for Deb Couture.  She was the last one to put the finishing touches on the evening gown for up and coming teen star, Marisa Remington.  Marisa’s mother and agent didn’t want sexy; they wanted modest.  The dress was beautiful … and modest … before Marisa managed to step on her sash causing the wrapped portion of her gown to fall loose revealing her sexy bra and bikini unders.  Lauren didn’t understand; she’d double checked the stitches.  She gets fired and will probably never get another chance to prove herself in fashion.

 

But, opportunity knocks sometimes when you least suspect it.  It’s not a lot of money, but she has a place to stay for free in Santa Barbara, CA, while she creates period costumes for a high school drama play.  The little cottage is not in great shape but it’s in a gated community near the beach.  She’s literally across the street from Charlotte Montgomery who is an old lady now, but was once a movie star in the 1940’s and 1950’s.  Lauren may have enjoyed being close to Charlotte except that Charlotte is a recluse and wants nothing to do with anyone.  Some rumor she left Hollywood sixty years ago after having been involved in a murder.  Journalist Kendall Joiner makes a deal with Lauren.  She can prove that Marisa’s malfunction was deliberate if Lauren will do a little research into Charlotte.

 

I loved the characters and the emotions this enchanting story brought with it.  Lauren is a Christian who just wants to be an inspiration to other people and seeks to do right by others.  So, while she loves fashion and would love to be able to clear her name, is it ethical to poke around into someone’s life; someone who only wants to be left alone?  And what about the murder?  Charlotte is very cantankerous, there’s no doubt about it, but murder?  This kind of reminds me of the story of Pollyanna and how she wins over Mrs. Snow.  The set-up is quite different between the two, but the tenderness is there and it was a very compassionate and welcome read.  Rating: 4 out of 5.