The Luminous Life of Lily Aphrodite by Beatrice Colin

About the book

As the clock chimed the turn of the twentieth century, Lilly Nelly Aphrodite took her first breath. Born to a cabaret dancer and soon orphaned in a scandalous double murder, Lilly finds refuge at a Catholic orphanage, coming under the wing of the, at times, severe Sister August, the first in a string of lost loves. There she meets Hanne Schmidt, a teen prostitute, and forms a bond that will last them through tumultuous love affairs, disastrous marriages, and destitution during the First World War and the subsequent economic collapse. As the century progresses, Lilly and Hanne move from the tawdry glamour of the tingle-tangle nightclubs to the shadow world of health films before Lilly finds success and stardom in the new medium of motion pictures and ultimately falls in love with a man whose fate could cost her everything she has worked for or help her discover her true self.

Reviewed by Perspectives Reading Group:

Well researched and a very enjoyable read. Highly recommended for reading groups – good points for discussion. Unusual perspective on the German experience of the wars.

Star rating: ****

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1 thought on “The Luminous Life of Lily Aphrodite by Beatrice Colin”

  1. Review from 5:30 Fareham Redaing Group
    This was a demanding read – there is a LOT of detail, and chapter introductions (providing context to the story) that are heavy-going. We learnt a lot about the film industry, and how appalling life was in Germany between the wars – the hardships were well told. But we never really got inside the head of Lily – how she managed to stay resourceful. In a way it is a story about survival but it was hard to get there – one reader described it as “Fruit cake rather than Victoria Sponge.” We gave is 3.5 stars

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