In 1960, sixteen-year-old Dianna Fletcher has been accustomed to the bright lights of Hollywood all her life-but now they are casting shadows on her family’s past and on her own future.
Dianna fears she is losing her talent and failing to live up to her family’s legacy. When she does land a part, she finds an unexpected enemy in brilliant actor and womanizer, Bill Royce, who not only attacks her confidence but holds a deep grudge against her family.
Dianna comes to believe Bill’s resentment is related to her suspicion that her parents harbor a secret linked to the blacklist. But even as their friendship grows despite their misgivings about each other, Bill will not confess what he knows.
As Dianna struggles with her career in a rapidly changing industry, she urges Bill to share his dark past with her, only to discover secrets that could destroy her family’s prestige and power.
Banished From Memory highlights the conflicted relationship between two legacies of the blacklist, the sunset of classic Hollywood, the challenges and gifts of acting, and a determination on the part of one generation to exhume the truth of another’s. But at what cost?
This is so beautifully crafted, easy to read and as Mary Sheehan’s books tend to do, they weave fiction and well researched facts. I am so glad I found time to read and enjoy like a feast of words! – merritt mckeon
Sheeran’s research is meticulous, and she brings a time and place to life with vivid details — at the Oscars, on the set, and at her family’s homes in Beverly Hills and Malibu. Movie stars abound, as do both John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, and, best of all, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Sheeran has believably embedded the Fletcher family in the midst of all of this. Dianna’s political awakening is well-drawn (a Pete Seeger concert is one of my favorite scenes), as is her coming into her own with her craft as an actor. – Catherine Siemann
Banished From Memory presented an intriguing and unique concept, with bringing in real-life celebrities and characters most of us are very familiar with, blending in with fictional people who feel true to life and more than believable. Not only that, but the celebrities we’ve come to know and often love have a voice within this story that fits their individual characteristics and mannerisms, an uncanny representation that aided in bringing forth Dianna’s inner struggles. I really couldn’t get enough of the nostalgia! – Sara Steven