Whisper of the Moon Moth

From the author of The Color of Secrets and The Woman on the Orient Express comes a poignant novel inspired by the Hollywood legend and the secrets of actress Merle Oberon, famous for playing Cathy to Laurence Olivier s Heathcliff in the film Wuthering Heights.For nineteen year old Estelle Thompson, going to the cinema is than a way to pass the time it s a way out InFrom the author of The Color of Secrets and The Woman on the Orient Express comes a poignant novel inspired by the Hollywood legend and the secrets of actress Merle Oberon, famous for playing Cathy to Laurence Olivier s Heathcliff in the film Wuthering Heights.For nineteen year old Estelle Thompson, going to the cinema is than a way to pass the time it s a way out In 1931 in Calcutta, Anglo Indian girls like Estelle are considered half breeds, shunned by both English and Indian society Her only escape is through the silver screen, where she can forget the world around her.When Estelle catches the eye of a dashing American heir with connections to a major motion picture studio, he also captures her heart Soon, Estelle has a one way ticket to London and a recommendation for a screen test.To get to the top, she must keep her Indian heritage concealed and so begins her new identity as movie goddess Merle Oberon But just as her dreams are poised to come true, she discovers that her own family is keeping a much shocking secret from her one that changes everything she s believed about her past.
Whisper of the Moon Moth From the author of The Color of Secrets and The Woman on the Orient Express comes a poignant novel inspired by the Hollywood legend and the secrets of actress Merle Oberon famous for playing Cathy to

  • Title: Whisper of the Moon Moth
  • Author: Lindsay Jayne Ashford
  • ISBN: 9781542045575
  • Page: 341
  • Format: Paperback
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      Posted by:Lindsay Jayne Ashford
      Published :2018-06-07T14:17:56+00:00

    About the Author

    Lindsay Jayne Ashford

    Same author publishes as Lindsay Ashford.

    791 Comment

    • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      Merle Oberon's life before (and after) fame is one that is so fascinating that I was thrilled to learn that a book was going to be published. However, my expectations of the book turned out to be too high. As a close friend of my (who is also reading this book, will link to her review when it's done) wrote about the book "categorizing this one as a freely adapted biographic fiction that is significantly heavy on the fiction." I personally called it fantasy since the author decided to take leaps [...]

    • Erin said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      Considering that I enjoyed "The Woman on the Orient Express", there was no question that I wanted to read the latest from Lindsay Jayne Ashford. Of course, I had to wait until I was in the mood to read it. Last evening turned out to be the right time and it didn't take me too long to become immersed in the world of Hollywood movies and the silver screen lifestyle. The central character for the book happens to be Anglo-Indian Estelle Thompson, who will become the actress known as Merle Oberon. Es [...]

    • David Highton said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      Free from Prime but not my cup of tea! Purports to be based on the early life of actress Merle Oberon, forced to deny her Anglo Indian heritage, the epilogue at the ends displays just how much poetic licence has been taken, with a lot of fictional content added.

    • Sian Pursey said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      Dreadful. Story was poorly written and the epilogue made me feel very uncomfortable about the people mentioned in the book. It also seemed to have been poorly researched. It is set in 1931 yet refers to plastic cups on a tea vending stall in India! There is also a later reference to drinking using a plastic straw. I cannot believe such details got past an editor. If they are getting points such as this wrong, what else is wrong in the book?

    • Iset said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      This is not the sort of book I usually pick up. As a historian my interest wanes in the 20th century onwards, and I normally go out of my way to avoid fiction in the setting, for the same reason I tend to avoid contemporary novels: I’m so familiar with it I simply find nothing new or exciting to tempt me, especially when I could be using that book reading time to read about far distant eras and places. Indeed, the setting here did not really surprise or delight me in any particular way. Rather [...]

    • Susan said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      3.5 starsI found this book to be an entertaining story. It is about an era in the British and American movie industry that I find fascinating. It delves into the life of Merle Oberon at the beginning of her movie career in the 1930's as she struggled to hide her Anglo-Indian heritage.The author has been criticized by other readers for the lack of historical accuracy in the book. However, in her epilogue the author discusses some of the historical background and the creative license she has taken [...]

    • Allie Riley said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      I loved this and read it in only a few sittings. Beautifully written and fascinating. Prior to encountering this book, I had never heard of Merle Oberon. Now, I feel I will have to investigate more of her work. Helpfully, Ashford includes an epilogue which gives further details and explains where and why she deviated from the facts of Oberon's life. I would like to read more by this author.

    • Mary said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      absolutely awful writing story characters etc not worth you time it was free on kindle unlimited but really this should not have been printed supposedly a fictionalized version of Merle Oberon's life it was so far from reality that it was basically a book that plagiarized her life in order to have a story to write definitely don't bother with this one

    • Elizabeth said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      Not a bad story, but I don't think I approve of made up biographies. Once you get to the factual bit at the end you can see how much the story differs to reality.

    • Christine Payne said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      Thoroughly enjoyable but confused by the fact/fiction approach all of which is explained in the back of the book. But I would suggest you do not read until finished

    • Mell said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      I won the Kindle version of this novel from in exchange for an honest review.This book reminds me of all the bad miniseries from the 80's: overflowing with melodrama and lacking in originality. Whispers of the Moon Moth reads like a copycat of Michael Korda's Queenie. The entire story is overwrought with what feels like phony emotion. And I don't understand the point of fictionalizing certain actions by Vivien Leigh, especially something that seems potentially malicious. I don't recommend the b [...]

    • David Stimpson said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      I Enjoyed the Story and then all the Thoughts I Had Been Having about All the BIG Stars was Mostly Made up It has Made me think that LJA Should have just used Made up names like most of the Story I am now off to find A Real Story of this Magical Time

    • Vivienne said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      A Strange, Sad, Glamorous LifeThe title of this book intrigued me and from the first page of the Prologue in the sample, I was hooked and just had to buy this book. I have never seen a film with Merle Oberon in it, although I know she was a film star and have seen photos of her. Merle’s exotic looks and unusual name fascinated me, but it was after her death that I first came across any mention of her.This fictionalised story of Oberon’s life is difficult to review without revealing too much. [...]

    • Loraine said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      I read two-thirds of this book then finally had to quit. This is a fictionalized secular story of film star Merle Oberon. Her life began as the child of an Indian (India) mother and an English father in 1897 in India. Her father was a British military officer stationed in India who was killed in action. Her birth name was Estelle Thompson. As a 19 year old she was enthralled with the cinema and dreamed of becoming a movie star. Fortunately, a chance comes her way through a British military man s [...]

    • Krista said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      Knocked down from 4 to 3 stars.I enjoyed reading Whisper of the Moon Moth, by Lindsay Jayne Ashford who also wrote The Woman on the Orient Express, but I fear that this book may have been categorized incorrectly by the publisher’s Marketing Department. I don’t think that this is really a historical fiction biography (fictionalized biography) about Merle Oberon. By the end of the book I viewed it more as historical fiction of an era rather than a book that stuck close to the factual outlines [...]

    • C.R. Elliott said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      *I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*Whisper of the Moon Moth is enjoyable historical fiction based loosely around details of the life of Merle Oberon and several people she came in contact with or worked around historically. Having never heard of her I was intrigued. In the blurb I read before requesting the book I understood that this was a fictional account of her life so I wasn't expecting the details of the book to be accurate so it didn't detra [...]

    • Sahitya said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      I didn’t know about Merle Oberon before I started reading this. So, I can’t attest for the validity of any of the incidents described in this book. I only read this as any other historical fiction novel. The book follows Estelle Thompson, an Anglo-Indian young woman aspiring to become an actress. After some unforeseen heartbreak, she lands up in London hoping to find any acting job. She luckily finds a small part in a production, impresses the director so much that she gets the part to play [...]

    • Jaqui said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      Enchanting title and I loved this book.Captivating. It's a fascinating era anyway : The heyday of early Hollywood. And to have a narrative peppered with names like Clark Gable, David Niven, Olivier, Vivien Leigh - all legends is fascinating to a movie buff. Merle Oberon Famous for playing Cathy to Laurence Olivier's Heathcliff in The film Wuthering Heights has many secrets. As Estelle Thompson an Anglo Indian she is considered a half breed by both Indian and English society and despite her und [...]

    • Jackie Cain said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      I received this book free with Prime, a month before its general release in the UK. It is a dramatisation of the story of Merle Oberon who had to pretend her mother, a dark Indian woman, was her maid so that she could keep her place in Hollywood. I really enjoyed reading it, especially the earlier chapters that seemed to weave an atmosphere of India in the first half of the 20th century. It was very poignant when I read her musing on whether the USA was less concerned about race and intermarria [...]

    • Nickie said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      I had no idea who this actress was, and ended up checking her out online to find out more about her before I finished the book. A young woman who was born in India and 1/4 Indian but passes for white, moves to England to become a film star. It recounts her relationships with many of Hollywood's big names in the 30's. It was an interesting look at film and people of the time, but I kept wondering if the book was fact or fiction the author starts off telling the reader that she condensed some of t [...]

    • Kristine said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      Whisper of the Moon Moth by Lindsay Jayne Ashford is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late October.The partially fictionalized story of Estelle Thompson, aka Merle Oberon, starting when she had lived in Calcutta during the early 1930s, passing as a 'mixed Anglo-Indian' or the child of an Indian mum (or mataji) and a British soldier. The narration is very much like a hothouse orchid with Estelle's impassioned, seductive thoughts, all coiled with desire and pent-up sexuality. After being give [...]

    • Joy said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      There’s a lot to be said for an intriguing title and mysterious cover art on a novel. I was lured right in, like the proverbial moth to the flames. When I read that “The Whisper of the Moon Moth” was about one of my favorite classic screen actresses, Merle Oberon, and the “dark” secret that she hid from Hollywood, I was anxious to begin. My fascination with Merle started as a teenager when she played the cinema lead character of one of my favorite books. Her role as Cathy to Laurence O [...]

    • Amy said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      REview:I liked this book. It was a biography/fiction of a famous actress of Indian birth trying to "pass" as white. Summary:For nineteen-year-old Estelle Thompson, going to the cinema is more than a way to pass the time…it’s a way out. In 1931 in Calcutta, Anglo-Indian girls like Estelle are considered half-breeds, shunned by both English and Indian society. Her only escape is through the silver screen, where she can forget the world around her.When Estelle catches the eye of a dashing Ameri [...]

    • Margaret Wichorek said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      This novel is about the actress, Merle Oberon. She had quite an interesting life-born in India of a white father and a man from Ceylon. She had aspirations to be an actress and after saving enough money , went to England with mother. She found employment as a hostess in a night club and during the , she auditioned at various studios. SHe was spotted by Charles Laughton, who directed her to try Alexander Korda's studio. He saw her awas impressed, then hired her to play Anne Boleyn in his producti [...]

    • Crystal-Rain Love said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      I received this as part of a giveaway on . I'd read the reviews stating that the book was a fictionalized telling of Merle Oberon's life so I went into it as reading for entertainment, not a completely accurate telling of Oberon's life story. I had never known of Oberon's racial makeup which was what intrigued me. This story is very similar to one of my favorite movies, Imitation Of Life, in that it tells the story of a half white, half minority woman raised by her minority mother. In both stori [...]

    • Tina said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      **Firstly, thank you to for the complimentary copy.** Before reading Whisper of the Moon Moth, I looked at some of the reviews here on about this fictionalized account of Golden Age actress Merle Oberon. I can see why some people were p.o.'d. David Niven is portrayed as nothing but a randy goat, and Vivien Leigh is a soap opera villain. And author Lindsay Jayne Ashford makes such a strong point of having Oberon turn down the advances of the married Leslie Howard(when in real life they had an a [...]

    • Jessica Schlott said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      I love reading historical fiction, because it's like jumping back in time and seeing how life was before. This story follows Merle Oberon and how she became a Hollywood starlet, however, it's more of a fictional read than biographical novel. Many parts of the real story of Merle Oberon have been changed, so it's similar to what you expect when you watch a movie that is based on a true story.The story itself was overall enjoyable. It also made me realize how strict Hollywood was with mixed race p [...]

    • Joann said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      I won this Kindle e-book in a Giveaway. Thanks so much. The author explains at the beginning and the end that this is book about the life of actress Merle Oberon but that the author has taken some liberties with what is true and what is fantasy. I didn't know much about the actress so went into the book with an open mind. The beginning was enthralling for me as Estelle was born in Bombay and spent her youth there. Anything with India just adds another dimension for me. Then the rest of the book [...]

    • Argum said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      I won a free copy of this book from First Reads.I had no idea who the real life Merle Oberon was and so this was a fun semi historical introduction to her. An Anglo Indian girl growing up fantasizing about the movie stars she sees nightly on the silver screen, makes some poor decisions, but winds up traveling with her mother to London to try for her big break and to change their lives. She never fits in in India - wanted by neither side. This outsider perspective shapes some of her experiences. [...]

    • Denise said:
      Sep 21, 2018 - 14:17 PM

      While Merle Oberon's life was used as a base for this story the author fully admits it is not a biography of her life. That being said I can see parts of her life being exactly like this was told. As a woman of color in today's world, I can only understand a little of what it must have been like to hide such a big part of who you are from the world. To have to treat your Mother as a well-loved and trusted employee must have been heartbreaking. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it anyone wh [...]

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