How do you ruin someone's childhood? Ellie Marsden was born into the legendary Lovinger acting dynasty. Granddaughter of the infamous Lottie Lovinger, as a child Ellie shared the silver screen with Lottie in her one-and-only role playing the child monster in a cult horror movie. The experience left Ellie deeply traumatised and estranged from people she loved. Now seventeen, Ellie has returned home to Hobart for the first time in years. Lottie is dying and Ellie wants to make peace with her before it's too late.
When a chance encounter with a young film buff leads her to a feminist horror film collective, Ellie meets Riya, a girl who she might be able to show her real self to, and at last comes to understand her family's legacy. A story of love, loss, family and film - a stirring, insightful novel about letting go of anger and learning to forgive without forgetting. And about embracing the things that scare us, in order to be braver.
As a little girl, Ellie loved the movies. Born into the famous Tasmanian Lovinger acting family, this was no surprise. Her grandmother, Lottie, was an acting legend, and Ellie had a wonderful relationship with her growing up.
Well they did have a great relationship, until Ellie starred in one of Lottie’s horror films. It was the film that was to rejuvenate Lottie’s faltering career, but it would be Ellie’s first and last film.
What happened to Ellie during the filming would scar her for life, turn her world upside down and tear her family apart. Ellie moved away to try and cope, but the memories and hurt never went away. How could Lottie have let this happen?
When Ellie and her whole family find themselves back in Tasmania to be by the side of a dying Lottie, family memories and secrets are brought to the surface. But can Ellie bring herself to forgive Lottie for what happened?
With the help of her new friends that she makes at the horror movie club, particularly Riya, who she is immediately drawn to, Ellie must confront her past so that she can move on with her future.
This is a beautiful story of family, grief, acceptance, forgiveness, facing our fears and taking a chance on love. It has wonderful characters, and film lovers in particular will be thoroughly immersed in Ellie’s world. Best suited to readers 14 and above.
Reviewed by Sam