Lights. Camera. Action!
You’re in your thirties, you’ve let yourself go, you’ve given up on your dreams of being a screenwriter long ago and settled for a life of writing for tabloid magazines. The only thing that keeps you going is your husband. The man of your dreams, the love of your life. The man you want to start a family with, the man that just left you for a twenty-something blonde beauty. Your obvious solution to the problem is to follow him (and his mistress) to London, where he is filming his new T.V. show.
Armed with only a glamorous wardrobe of vintage clothing inherited from her grandmother, a former film noir actress, Clara discovers that the clothes really do make the woman. Dressed to kill, she adopts a new femme fatale persona: confident, sexy and set on revenge. But on the road to retaliation, Clara discovers an unfinished film script that sheds light on her grandmother’s mysterious death years before. Then it happens: somehow, magically, her whole life is transported back in time, into a living, breathing film noir that reveals to Clara the potential to write her own ending.
I was extremely surprised by how much I loved this novel. I love a novel where the main character goes through some kind of transformation, where she finds out who she is and how strong she can be. Clara Bishop starts off as a naive pushover and turns into a strong vivacious woman in a vintage gown.
“As I made my final preparations to leave, there came over me a feeling, one that masked all the fear and confusion. It was courage gained from having nothing left to lose.” (Page 130)
This novel had me thinking, seeing, and dreaming in black-and-white. I enjoyed every description, every gown, every vintage prop, every devilish line, and every scandal that came my way. I also enjoyed every single face slap!
“‘See to it you can take a slap as easy as a kiss. That is, if you want to get anywhere in this world and not be anybody’s fool.’” (Page 62)
My Life in Black and White has the best of everything and is the perfect combination of screwball comedy and film noir. Each character is depicted vividly, each conversation has a purpose, and each dress has a statement. Nothing in this novel is left up to chance and yet it still has a magical quality about it. Written with charm and sass, Kim Izzo’s My Life in Black and White will have you seeing life in shades of grey.
You’ll go on this incredible time deifying journey and come back to a technicolor world filled with second chances you didn’t know existed.