A Stranger in the Mirror is the story of a two people who have miserable childhoods and come to Hollywood in search of the attention they crave.
Born in Detroit during the Depression, Toby Temple has a domineering mother who convinces him he is going to be famous.
He’s furious when he isn’t an overnight success.
He finally submits to learning his craft, but he never stops trying to get even with the people who didn’t recognize his greatness.
Josephine Czinski, deprived at birth of oxygen for four minutes, she gets awful, recurring headaches when she’s stressed.
Raised by her widowed mother, a Polish seamstress caught up in a fire-and-brimstone religious sect, the girl has a lot of stress.
Josephine gets on a bus in Odessa, Texas, and get off in Hollywood as Jill Castle, one of hundreds of beautiful girls with dreams of stardom and no talent for acting.
Like Toby, she becomes an accomplished hater.
Without dragging readers through the dirt with them, Sidney Sheldon tells the story of two pathetically damaged individuals leading sordid lives in city full of people just like themselves.
It’s compelling reading, complete with what can only be described as a Hollywood ending: Unexpected, predictable, and dramatic.
A Stranger in the Mirror by Sidney Sheldon
Morrow, 1976. 321 p.
1976 bestseller #10. My grade: B+
© 2018 Linda Gorton Aragoni