We Came Here to Shine by Susie Orman Schnall
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 11.9 MB
Set at the iconic 1939 New York World’s Fair, Susie Orman Schnall’s We Came Here to Shine is historical fiction featuring two bold and ambitious women who navigate a world of possibility and find out what they’re truly made of during a glorious summer of spectacle and potential.
“An ode to female friendship that pulses with momentum and left me breathless.” -Fiona Davis, national bestselling author of The Chelsea Girls
“A remarkable novel about the challenges women face and the courage they must summon in order to lead the lives they deserve.” -Lynda Cohen Loigman, author of The Two-Family House
Gorgeous Vivi is the star of the Aquacade synchronized swimming spectacular and plucky Max is a journalist for the fair’s daily paper. Both are striving to make their way in a world where men try to control their actions and where secrets are closely kept. But when Vivi and Max become friends and their personal and professional prospects are put in jeopardy, they team up to help each other succeed and to realize their dreams during the most meaningful summer of their lives.
We Came Here to Shine is a story of ambition, friendship, and persistence with a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the extraordinary NY World’s Fair.
“Vivi, Jack,” Mr. Green said, making eye contact with each of them and clasping his hands together into a fist, his elbows resting on his desk. “I’ll get right to the point. As you both know, Every Last Sunset is slated to be one of our biggest pictures for 1940. The role of Lola, your role, Vivi, is Academy Award material. There’s just one thing,” he said, pausing.
“Mr. Green,” Vivi said, wanting to prolong the inevitable. She had no idea what exactly he was going to say, but any statement prefaced by There’s just one thing was never good. “I’m so thrilled that you were confident enough in me to award me the role. I’m looking forward to—”
“Just lay it out there, Carl,” Jack said, interrupting Vivi as she turned to stare at him in disbelief—how rude—but this was how these meetings ran. Vivi knew the agent was meant to take control and the actress was meant to stay silent. As Jack had told her on multiple occasions, if she followed that simple protocol, her future success would be ensured. So she kept her mouth shut—most of the time—and let the men handle things.
There’s just one thing. Mr. Green’s statement rang in her ears, getting louder and louder with each repetition until it was all she could hear. There’s just one thing. Such an insignificant saying. As it turned out, it was entirely not just one thing. No, what Mr. Green said next was a whole lot of things. And not a single one was good.
“We screened rehearsal clips for a test audience, and they said you were innocent and sweet. A naïf, I think,” he said, shuffling papers on his desk. “Yes”—he jabbed his finger at the paper he’d been looking for—“a naïf.”
“I didn’t—” Vivi began until Jack interrupted her again.
“Give her another chance, Carl. Let her shoot actual scenes. She can show you what she’s capable of.” Jack’s hands were outstretched, his tone beseeching.
“This is a role for a confident woman who is well aware of her … womanliness. I can’t have audiences snickering because Vivi isn’t believable as Lola. It won’t work. The part has already been given to Celine Peters. The contracts were signed an hour ago.”
“Mr. Green,” Vivi said, standing up to her full height and rolling back her shoulders, a posture her acting coach said conveyed authority and agency. “I can be the actress you need me to be. I promise you, sir, if you give me another shot, you won’t be disappointed.” It was not an inquiry. It was a declaration.