Anthony Marra’s second novel is an energetic, wildly comical tale that’s bursting with copious historical details. It’s full of passion, energy and exuberance, just like the Hollywood world it portrays.
In a searing early scene of Mercury Pictures Presents, 12-year-old Maria Lagana and her father enjoy the coolness of the cinema one Sunday morning in Rome. As father and daughter watch The Monster of Frankenstein, Benito Mussolini's Black Shirts storm the theater and set it on fire. Soon after this terrifying event,…