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Book clubs  •  1 May 2024

 

The Studio Girls book club Questions

A sumptuous, nostalgic book about the Golden Age of cinema to read with your book club

If your book club loves historical fiction, books about friendship or novels the likes of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, then The Studio Girls should be your next book club pick. 

The book follows four talented women in 1955 Hollywood who become best friends while living at the Hollywood Studio Club, the famous boarding house for movie hopefuls. Out of the four friends, only the aspiring scriptwriter Sadie Shore has little interest in fame. When she becomes the PA of a big studio boss, her eyes are opened to the perils of her friends' dreams . . . 

Discussion points and questions 

  • April wasn’t employed to care for Vivienne, but she took on that role after George died. Do you think she made the right decision to leave Vivienne at the Studio Club reunion? What other choices did she have?
  • When Vivienne comes back into the lives of the other women, it is clear she is vulnerable. Sadie feels compelled to help her, but the other women do not. Can you understand why Peggy and Julia are reluctant to get involved? What do you think you would do in the same situation?
  • During the ‘studio era’, Hollywood studios exerted a great deal of control over their stars, particularly the female ones. Do you think the price of celebrity was worth it in that era? What about now?
  • Julia and Charlie are clearly in love. Why can’t they make their relationship work? Do you think the problems they faced as an interracial couple are a thing of the past, or do couples today experience similar obstacles?
  • When Julia discovers Vivienne and Mike together, it is Vivienne who faces consequences; Mike comes out of the incident unscathed. In the 1950s, women often received the blame for men’s bad behaviour. Do you think things have changed since then?
  • Why do you think Vivienne didn’t try harder to explain what had happened with Mike?
  • What do you think of Peggy’s behaviour? Can you understand why she let Vivienne take the blame for her mistake? Do you think she makes up for her betrayal by the end of the book?
  • This story is told through the eyes of Sadie, Julia and Peggy. Vivienne does not get her own point of view, except in occasional diary entries. Why do you think the author chose to tell the story this way?
  • The book was inspired by the real Hollywood Studio Club, which was established to keep young women in Hollywood safe. Do you think Peggy, Julia, Sadie and Vivienne benefited from their time living there? Why or why not?
  • The friendships in the book span a period of more than four decades. What makes some friendships last while others fade away?

Feature Title

The Studio Girls
The Studio Girls is a sumptuous, nostalgic journey back to the glamorous Golden Age of cinema and the intoxicating world of Tinseltown, where nothing is quite what it seems . . .
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