The Brutal Illusion
By Stephen Jared
Reviewed by Angie Mangino
Rating: 4 stars
Readers meet twenty-three year old Allyson Rockwell
as she dresses to go to watch the stars arrive at a premiere on Hollywood
Boulevard for her last night in Los Angeles. A year ago she had come from
Indiana to become an actress. Now with her money depleted she reluctantly, but
practically, plans to go back home.
A chance encounter in the crowd with Lenny Carson
has him leading her through the confusion of people and ultimately to Mr.
Laemmle, the top production man at Universal. After the two men rattled on
about mutual acquaintances, Mr. Laemmle began to take his leave for another
“Stepping around his desk, he faced Allyson and
right then and there changed her life forever with a simple question. ‘How
With that he gave a contract for seventy-five
dollars per week to her and the instruction to report the next day as an
“’I’m so happy Lenny,’” she told him. “’Meeting you was the best thing that
ever happened to me. You’re the most wonderful man in the whole world.’”
Is he, or is this the beginning of something she
couldn’t ever imagine?
Her friendship with a young writer at the studio
develops during the story, eventually intersecting with her life with Lenny.
Readers will follow this path with her, caught up in
the excitement, intrigue, and sadness of this quick moving, but impacting read.