ALL THE STARS IN THE HEAVENS

Adriana Trigiani

The movie business is booming in 1935 when twenty-one-year-old Loretta Young meets thirty-four-year-old Clark Gable on the set of The Call of the Wild. Though he’s already married, Gable falls for the stunning and vivacious young actress.

Far from the glittering lights of Hollywood, Sister Alda Ducci has been forced to leave her convent and begin a new journey that leads her to Loretta. Becoming Miss Young’s secretary, the innocent and pious young Alda must navigate the wild terrain of Hollywood with fierce determination and a moral code that derives from her Italian roots.

Over the course of decades,

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The movie business is booming in 1935 when twenty-one-year-old Loretta Young meets thirty-four-year-old Clark Gable on the set of The Call of the Wild. Though he’s already married, Gable falls for the stunning and vivacious young actress.

Far from the glittering lights of Hollywood, Sister Alda Ducci has been forced to leave her convent and begin a new journey that leads her to Loretta. Becoming Miss Young’s secretary, the innocent and pious young Alda must navigate the wild terrain of Hollywood with fierce determination and a moral code that derives from her Italian roots.

Over the course of decades, Alda and Loretta encounter scandal and adventure, choose love and passion, and forge an enduring bond of love and loyalty that will be put to the test when they face the greatest obstacle of their lives.

Trigiani paints the glorious historical landscape of 1930s Los Angeles where European and American artisans flocked to pursue the ultimate dream: to tell stories on the silver screen. Trigiani’s masterful storytelling takes us on a worldwide ride of adventure, from Hollywood to Italy, in a mesmerizing epic that is at its heart a luminous tale of the most cherished ties that bind. Brimming with larger-than-life characters both real and fictional—including stars Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy, David Niven, Hattie McDaniel, and others—All the Stars in the Heavens is the unforgettable tale of one of cinema’s greatest love affairs during the heyday of American moviemaking.

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  • Harper Paperbacks
  • Paperback
  • July 2016
  • 480 Pages
  • 9780062319203

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$15.99

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About Adriana Trigiani

Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for sixteen bestsellers, including All the Stars in the Heavens; the blockbuster epic The Shoemaker’s Wife; the Big Stone Gap series; Lucia, Lucia; the Valentine series; the Viola series for young adults and the bestselling memoir Don’t Sing at the Table. She is the award-winning filmmaker of the documentary Queens of the Big Time. Trigiani wrote and directed the major motion picture Big Stone Gap, based on her debut novel and filmed entirely on location in her Virginia hometown, released nationwide in the fall of 2015. She lives in Greenwich Village with her family.

Praise

Trigiani spins a tale of star-crossed lovers… A heartwarming tale of women's lives behind the movies.”

—Kirkus Reviews

A tinsel-trimmed treat for movie buffs and Trigiani fans alike.”

—Library Journal

A thoroughly entertaining tale that brings Hollywood's golden age alive.”

—People

Discussion Questions

What characteristics make Loretta so successful beyond the typical “life span” of an actress in this age of Hollywood? In what ways is she the “modern woman” that Alda considers her to be?

How does the time and place—the Golden Age of Hollywood—affect Loretta’s relationship with Clark Gable? What are the standards that are set and why? What is it in this setting that makes it so compelling? How would the circumstances change if their relationship took place in modern times? Would a story like this be as spellbinding and compelling in Hollywood today?

Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable play very different roles in Loretta’s life, despite both being her love interests. How does each of them affect Loretta’s personal growth? To what degree does her relationship with Spencer influence her later relationship with Clark? Loretta says her biggest regret is not marrying Clark Gable. Do you agree or disagree?

Though Alda and Loretta come from very different backgrounds, they work well together. How does Alda’s upbringing and history prepare her for a life as Loretta’s secretary? What values do they share? In contrast, how does Loretta’s view on the nature of love differ from Alda’s?

Despite their feelings for one another, Loretta and Clark can’t make their relationship work. What stands in their way? What do you think draws Loretta to Clark? Do you think that Clark’s love for Loretta was something more meaningful to him than any of the other romances/marriages he indulged in?

In Padua, Loretta experiences the making of grappa with Signore Ducci. He says to her, “Grappa is life. You use everything to make it, all the things that no one wants, that no one can use, we use. Everything in life, whether sweet or bitter, ends up in the glass—a mix of.” How would you apply this metaphor to Loretta’s life, specifically?

“Loretta” is a stage name; her given name is Gretchen. Only those closest to her call her by her given name, and as a public figure, she has somewhat of a double persona. How is her true self different from how she is perceived by the masses?

Loretta is a devout Catholic. How does her faith inform her major life decisions?

Why do you think Alda felt the need to tell Luca about her past, despite Loretta’s advice?

Motherhood plays a significant role in this story. How does Loretta’s relationship with Gladys influence her choices as a mother to Judy? Why do you think Alda never adopted children?