Author: Renée Rosen
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 432
Date of Publication: April 25, 2023
My Rating: 5 Stars
It’s 1938, and a young woman selling face cream out of a New York City beauty parlor is determined to prove she can have it all. Her name is Estée Lauder, and she’s about to take the world by storm, in this dazzling new novel from the USA Today bestselling author of The Social Graces and Park Avenue Summer.
In New York City, you can disappear into the crowd. At least that’s what Gloria Downing desperately hopes as she tries to reinvent herself after a devastating family scandal. She’s ready for a total life makeover and a friend she can lean on—and into her path walks a young, idealistic woman named Estée. Their chance encounter will change Gloria’s life forever.
Estée dreams of success and becoming a household name like Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein, and Revlon. Before Gloria knows it, she is swept up in her new friend’s mission and while Estée rolls up her sleeves, Gloria begins to discover her own talents. After landing a job at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York’s finest luxury department store, Gloria finds her voice, which proves instrumental in opening doors for Estée’s insatiable ambitions.
But in a world unaccustomed to women with power, they’ll each have to pay the price that comes with daring to live life on their own terms and refusing to back down.
Estée Lauder has been responsible for many beauty products still on the market today. She started with face creams and sage advice. This story takes place in the ‘30s and ‘40s and is told from the perspective of her best friend Gloria. Gloria has recently changed her last name to Downing, because of a scandal that has landed her father in prison. As a former debutante whose family has lost everything because of her father, she must learn how to work and take care of herself. Gloria no doubt had no idea how much meeting Estée Lauder would change the course of her life.
Estée Lauder was truly a force to be reckoned with. Estée’s past had a lot of similarities with Gloria’s, but their focus was completely different. Nothing will stop her from achieving her goals, and these goals grow and change with time, but always with the intent of getting her products in as many hands as possible. Even though this story tells of Estée’s great successes, Gloria’s story was quite telling. Heartbreak and trials were par for the course over the years, and her friendship with Estée was tested more than once.
What an excellent story that I never would have learned if not for Renée Rosen. I loved reading of Gloria and Estée as well as the cameos of other famous personalities.
Many thanks to Berkley and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Renee is a native of Akron, Ohio and a graduate of The American University in Washington DC. She now lives in Chicago.