My Hollywood

My Hollywood

A Novel

Book - 2010
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Random House, Inc.
A wonderfully provocative and appealing novel, from the much-loved author of Anywhere But Here and A Regular Guy, her first in ten years. It tells the story of two women whose lives entwine and unfold behind the glittery surface of Hollywood.

Claire, a composer and a new mother, comes to LA so her husband can follow his passion for writing television comedy. Suddenly the marriage—once a genuine 50/50 arrangement—changes, with Paul working long hours and Claire left at home with a baby, William, whom she adores but has no idea how to care for.

Lola, a fifty-two-year-old mother of five who is working in America to pay for her own children’s higher education back in the Philippines, becomes their nanny. Lola stabilizes the rocky household and soon other parents try to lure her away. What she sacrifices to stay with Claire and “Williamo” remains her own closely guarded secret.

In a novel at turns satirical and heartbreaking, where mothers’ modern ideas are given practical overhauls by nannies, we meet Lola’s vast network of fellow caregivers, each with her own story to tell. We see the upstairs competition for the best nanny and the downstairs competition for the best deal, and are forced to ask whether it is possible to buy love for our children and what that transaction costs us all.

We look into two contemporary marriages—one in America and one in the Philippines—and witness their endangerment, despite the best of intentions.

My Hollywood
is a tender, witty, and resonant novel that provides the profound pleasures readers have come to expect from Mona Simpson, here writing at the height of her powers.

Baker & Taylor
Struggling with her television writer husband's long hours and her own lack of childcare experience, composer and new mother Claire hires Lola, a Filipino mother of five seeking to finance her children's education back in the Philippines, who becomes privately devoted to her employers.

Blackwell Publishing
"Simpson's massive giftsùfor unflinching precision, for artful indirection, and for the deft unfurling of imageryùare on vivid display in My Hollywood, a book that carries us down deep, into the darkness of two distinct worlds, and lights them up, finding all the comedy in the ways they are the same world, and all the tragedy in the unbridgeable distance between them."-Michael Chabon

"A darkly beautiful atlas of the American promised land, and a definitive novel of modern domesticity. Brilliant, in short."ùJoseph O'Neill

"This big gorgeous book is at once an entertaining, socially astute upstairs-downstairs drama and a profound meditation on the shifting and often competing demands of love and work in a woman's life. One more time, Mona Simpson has burrowed deep into the American family to extract the shivering truth about the many trade-offs women face in raising children today. Lola, the Filipina nanny at the heart of the book, is surely one of the great literary creations of our time. My Hollywood is vast inscope, exquisite in detail, rife with pleasures."-Michelle Huneven

A wonderfully provocative and appealing novel, from the much-loved author of Anywhere But Here and A Regular Guy, her first in ten years. It tells the story of two women whose lives entwine and unfold behind the glittery surface of Hollywood.

Claire, a composer and a new mother, comes to LA so her husband can follow his passion for writing television comedy. Suddenly the marriageùonce a genuine 50/50 arrangementùchanges, with Paul working long hours and Claire left at home with a baby, William, whom she adores but has no idea how to care for.

Lola, a fifty-two-year-old mother of five who is working in America to pay for her own children's higher education back in the Philippines, becomes their nanny. Lola stabilizes the rocky household and soon other parents try to lure her away. What she sacrifices to stay with Claire and "Williamo" remains her own closely guarded secret.

In a novel at turns satirical and heartbreaking, where mothers' modern ideas are given practical overhauls by nannies, we meet Lola's vast network of fellow caregivers, each with her own story to tell. We see the upstairs competition for the best nanny and the downstairs competition for the best deal, and are forced to ask whether it is possible to buy love for our children and what that transaction costs us all.

We look into two contemporary marriagesùone in America and one in the Philippinesùand witness their endangerment, despite the best of intentions.

My Hollywood is a tender, witty, and resonant novel that provides the profound pleasures readers have come to expect from Mona Simpson, here writing at the height of her powers.

Baker
& Taylor

Struggling with her television writer husband's long hours and her own lack of childcare experience, composer Claire hires Lola, a Filipino mother of five who would finance her children's educations and who becomes privately devoted to her employers. By the award-winning author of Anywhere but Here.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307273529
Branch Call Number: SIM
Characteristics: 369 p

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brideofcadavra
Aug 21, 2015

It had been a long time since I'd found a book I didn't want to put down and thought about when I was away from it. I loved this book. I was thoroughly immersed in the lives of both Lola and Claire, and while the ending felt a tiny little bit pat, it was still satisfying. Mona Simpson is a fantastic storyteller.

c
Caz1310
Dec 30, 2011

I wanted to like this but I couldn't get past chapter 4. I liked the nanny but disliked Claire and her husband immediately. From what I read, the nanny cared more and knew how to care for the baby much more than the parents.

b
burleighsmith
Jul 03, 2011

Insightful portrayal of life of a Filipino nannie. A true heroine. Very moving and thankfully without undue melodrama. This nicely constructed saga shifts perspectives from that of the young mother to that of the nannie, allowing reader to view from a distance how Americans underappreciate foreign workers--as people, as caretakers, and as skilled laborers.

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queensgirl1963
Jan 08, 2011

Could not read this. The story was not compelling to me (really what was going to happen? The nanny would work for someone else?) Really disliked the husband/Dad. Life is too short to read bad books.

debwalker Dec 08, 2010

A novel of manners about modern motherhood.

j
jflowers
Oct 13, 2010

Check out video book review: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2010/08/26/VI2010082606116.html

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