Garbo Laughs by Elizabeth Hay (27)

Following Elizabeth Hay’s highly acclaimed bestselling novel A Student of Weather comes this brilliant and poignant, funny and sad-dyed novel about the tricky allure of movies in our everyday lives.

It is set in Ottawa. This book is the quixotic tale of Harriet Browning, a woman inflamed by the movies she was deprived of as a child and determined now to see everything she has missed. She forms a Friday-night movie club with three companions of the scree: a boy who loves Frank Sinatra, a girl with Bette Davis eyes, and an earthy sidekick and sometimes journalist named Dinah Shore. It almost seems as if real life can’t compete. But then it does.

Braking in upon this idiosyncratic world, in time with the devastating storm of 1998, come two refugees from Hollywood: Harriett’s Aunt Leah, the jaded widow of a screenwriter blacklisted in the 1950s, and her sardonic, often overbearing stepson Jack, a would-be-writer.

They bring harsh reality and illuminate the pull of family and friendship, the sting of infidelity and revenge, the shock of illness, and sudden loss.

How to make the necessary transitions in life and love is one of the recurring dilemmas in a novel that reveals something universal about how movies interact with our lives–intensifying, distorting, comforting, and shaping them. For better or worse.

The deliciously entertaining, true-to-life novel goes straight to the core of our innermost longings and desires. With it, Elizabeth Hay confirms her status as one of Canada’s most original and accomplished voices.

This is a wonderful story, one that I know I will read and re-read.  I decided to buy the book on


About irenesroth

I am a freelance and academic writer. I am currently writing a book called `Fearless Freelance Writers`. Please look out for it soon on this blog.
This entry was posted in Author from Ontario, Author from Ottawa, Friendship, movies, Rating: 5+ Stars, Refugees. Bookmark the permalink.

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