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The luminous life of Lilly Aphrodite

Colin, Beatrice (2008) The luminous life of Lilly Aphrodite. John Murray. ISBN 978-0-7195-2071-6

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A literary historical novel about an orphan girl's journey from poverty to film stardom, set against the grand backdrop of World War I Berlin, the cabaret era, the run-up to World War II, and the innovations in art and industry that accompanied it all. Big, rich, intelligent, and masterfully written, here is a page-turning story of glitter and splendor, drama and love, friendship and identity, and an illuminating account of a period of history that foreshadowed much of the twentieth century. As the clock chimes the turn of the twentieth century, Lilly Nelly Aphrodite takes her first breath. The illegitimate, orphaned daughter of a cabaret performer, she finds early refuge at a Berlin Catholic orphanage. From there follows a lifetime of reinventions, from orphan to maid, war bride, tingle-tangle nightclub girl, and script typist. Her eventual transformation into one of Germany's leading silent-film stars, and a partner in a remarkable romance that crosses decades and continents, could ultimately cost her everything she has worked for.