Author: Beatrice Colin, 2008
Genre: Historical Fiction. Germany 1900-1930s. GLBT themes
Other Details: Paperback. 404 pages.
Born as the clocks chimed in the turn of the twentieth century, Lilly Nelly Aphrodite is the illegitimate, soon orphaned, daughter of a cabaret performer and the wayward son of a Bavarian nobleman. After a brief, unsuccessful adoption, she finds refuge in a Catholic orphanage where she eventually makes the first in a string of friendships that will determine the direction of her life. Fellow orphan Hanne takes Lilly beyond the confines of the orphanage, introducing her to the seedy glamour of Berlin’s notorious night life. Lilly's journey takes her from urchin to maid, teenage war bride, tingle-tangle bargirl, model, and script typist, to her final transformation into one of Germany’s leading silent film stars and a partner in a love story that will span decades and continents.
The prose here was very rich and evocative whether dealing with the stark reality of Lilly's early years or the heady glamour of her later life. It was obviously meticulously researched and the author does provide end notes with some of her major sources.
A Conversation with Beatrice Colin - pdf document in which she discusses the genesis of the novel and her characters' interaction with real-life events.