Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll!

Sister Stardust

by Jane Green

I had never read any books written by Jane Green but when I read a description of Sister Stardust about a young girl from a small British town who meets and parties in Marrakish with Talitha and John Getty, rock stars, actors and fashion designers in the Swinging 60’s, I knew that I had to read it!

At the beginning of this book Claire is going through some boxes in the attic with her daughter, Tally. When Tally sees the beautiful Morrocon things in one of the boxes and letters from someone signed T, she wonders how her boring mum acquired them. Claire decides to tell her daughter about her anything but boring time in Marakesh during the swinging 60’s. Her story is then told in a flashback.

In 1966 Claire lives in the small English town of Dorset. She yearns for more excitement and after a disagreement with her cold stepmother, Claire heads to London. Her life in London, working in a department store, isn’t quite what she expected but she does start to get involved in the London nightlife. After she loses her job she is afraid that she will have to move back home. However things change when, through a series of fortuitous events, she finds herself flying to Morocco to stay at the home of Talitha and John Paul Getty Jr. in Marrakesh. Here she falls completely under the spell of Talitha, Marrakesh and the musicians, actors and celebraties that are frequently camped out at the Getty’s Palace.

At first Claire is enthralled with the opulence of the home, the sights and smells of Marrakesh, all of the famous people she meets at their palace and the sex and drugs. Talitha takes Claire under her wing and they become friends. As she gets closer to Talitha Claire begins to feel very protective of her. Claire is right to feel protective of Talitha because beneath the beauty, glamour, opulence and hedonistic bohemian lifestyle is a troubled young woman.

This historical fiction novel based on real people is a page turner. Sister Stardust has a strong sense of place and the reader is brought into the sights, smells and marvels of Marrakesh and the Pop Culture scene of the 1960’s. There is name dropping of famous rock starts, a lot of sex and drugs but also a story of female friendship and that of a vibrant young woman whose star burned too brightly to ever stay lit.

I knew the Getty name but didn’t know much about Talitha or other members of the Getty family so reading this book led me to do some research. Jane Green has an extensive bibliography at the back of the book, too. There is even a fun Sister Stardust playlist that someon put on Spotify with songs by various rock groups with music popular at the time.


https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3Fmk66fV8bBaAtTDx2LzaJ

There is also some information about Talitha and Sister Stardust fron Jane Green’s website: https://www.janegreen.com/blog/

Sister Stardust will be published on April 5, 2022. Thanks to Harlequin Trade Publishing and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy of Sister Stardust for an honest review.

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