The Brightest Star: #bookreview

The Brightest Star
Yet her beauty and talent isn’t enough to overcome the racism that relegates her to supporting roles as a helpless, exotic butterfly or a vicious, murderous dragon lady while Caucasian actresses in yellowface” are given starring roles portraying Asian women. Though she suffers professionally and personally, Anna May fights to win lead roles, accept risque parts, financially support her family, and keep her illicit love affairs hidden–even as she finds freedom and glittering stardom abroad, and receives glowing reviews across the globe. – Goodreads

When The Brightest Star by Gail Tsukiyama, a historical fiction novel based on the life of Anna May Wong, became available on NetGalley I was stoked. Thankfully, NetGalley approved my request. After watching Hollywood on Netflix, I learned about Anna May Wong. I was beyond excited to be able to read this book.

Anna May Wong was the first Asian American actress to achieve stardom in Hollywood. Her career began in 1919 and lasted until 1960. To escape the racism of Hollywood and the laws that enforced racial segregation, she traveled to Europe often for work on stage and screen. When Anna May wasn’t working on a film, she was working on becoming a fashion icon.

The book follows Anna May as she is going to the ceremony to receive her star on the Walk of Fame in 1960. The fictional character of Anna May narrates the book so it seems like a memoir. Honestly, I kept forgetting that it was fiction and not an autobiography.

Although Anna May is traveling around the world, she is still close to her sisters Lulu and Mary. Their father is not supportive of her non-traditional job. However, Lulu and Mary always hope that she follows her heart. They bicker as most sisters do but I enjoy hearing about their family. Anna May worked with many famous people but was still someone’s sister.


If you like stories about women who become successful in spite of obstacles, then you will love The Brightest Star. Also, if you enjoy hearing about the early days of movies and Hollywood, then this could also be the book for you.

If you aren’t a fan of historical fiction that is insanely accurate, then you are missing out on a great book if you don’t read The Brightest Star.


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  • I received this ebook from NetGalley. This is my honest review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

2 responses to “The Brightest Star: #bookreview”

  1. Wow. I can’t even imagine what an amazing life she led. She sounds like a true maverick.

    1. She was an icon for sure. 🙂

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