Monday, October 3, 2022

Miss Del Río: A Novel of Dolores del Río the first major Latina star in Hollywood by Bárbara Mujica

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

In the tradition of Marie Benedict's The Only Woman in the Room and Adriana Trigiani's All The Stars in the Heavens, a stunning biographical historical novel set over five decades about Mexican actress Dolores del Río—the first major Latina star in Hollywood, member of Tinseltown's glamorous inner circle with notables such as Orson Welles and Marlene Dietrich, and proud Mexican woman who helped pioneer Mexican cinema's Golden Age.

She was known as the most beautiful woman in the world, but Dolores del Río was more than a pretty face.

1910, Mexico: As the country’s revolution spreads, Dolores, the daughter of a wealthy banker, must flee her comfortable life in Durango or risk death. Her family settles in Mexico City, where, at 16, she marries the worldly Jaime del Río. But in a twist of fate, at a party she meets an influential American director who recognizes in her a natural performer. He invites her to Hollywood, and practically overnight, the famous Miss del Río is born.

In California, Dolores’s star quickly rises, and her days become a whirlwind of movie-making and glamorous events. Swept up in Tinseltown’s glitzy inner circle, she takes her place among film royalty such as Marlene Dietrich and Orson Welles. But as her career soars to new heights, her personal life becomes increasingly complicated, with family tragedy, painful divorce, and real heartache. And when she’s labeled box office poison amid growing prejudice before WWII, Dolores must decide what price she’s willing to pay to achieve her dreams, and if her heart and future instead lie where it all began... in Mexico.

Spanning half a century and narrated by Dolores’s fictional hairdresser and longtime friend, Miss del Río traces the life of a trailblazing woman whose legacy in Hollywood and in Mexico still shines bright today.

my thoughts:

Wow! What a fantastic book! Miss del Río by Barbara Mujica is the epitome of great historical fiction - it is chock full of fascinating historical details, unforgettable characters, and an unputdownable story. I just loved this book to bits! It made for such a terrific reading experience - I found myself learning about a Mexican movie star, Hollywood during the Mexican Revolution, and so much more. I just couldn't stop reading - this was one of those books that I had to finish the same day I started it - that's how damn good it was. Loved it!!

Dolores' family settles in Mexico City and at sixteen she marries, Jaime del Río. However, by chance she meets an American director who invites her to Hollywood. She goes and the rest becomes history - her fame seems to happen overnight. She's beautiful, talented, and in-demand. Her life now consists of acting and befriending Tinsel Town's elite. And yet, the bigger her star grows, the bigger her problems become. Yep, her personal life is a mess and it is weighing her down. Plus, the impending war, manages to stir up racial/ethnic prejudices that make her a target. Soon, Dolores is wondering where she truly belongs - Hollywood or Mexico? 

Mujica has written a terrific biographical novel that I really enjoyed getting lost in. I loved every minute I spent with this book. Such a great story! I would happily recommend Miss Del Río to anyone and everyone looking for their next great read - you are going to fall in deep with this one! Make sure to check it out ASAP!

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!

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