From the nationally bestselling author of The True Memoirs of Little K, a deeply felt and historically detailed novel of family, loss, and love, told by an irrepressible young girlA??the daughter of a two-bit gangster and a movie showgirlA??growing up in golden-age Hollywood and Las Vegas in its early days.
Esme Silver has always taken care of her charming neA??er-do-well father, Ike Silver, a small-time crook with dreams of making it big with Bugsy Siegel. Devoted to her daddy, Esme is often his "date" at the racetrack, where she amiably fetches the hot dogs while keeping an eye to the ground for any cast-off tickets that may be winners.
In awe of her mother, Dina Wells, Esme is more than happy to be the foil who gets the beautiful Dina into meetings and screen tests with some of HollywoodA??s greats. When Ike gets an opportunity to move to VegasA??and, in what could at last be his big break, to help the man she knows as "Benny" open the Flamingo HotelA??life takes an unexpected turn for Esme. A stunner like her mother, the young girl catches the attention of Nate Stein, one of the StripA??s most powerful men.
Narrated by the twenty-year-old Esme, The Magnificent Esme Wells moves between preA??WWII Hollywood and postwar Las VegasA??a golden age when Jewish gangsters and movie moguls were often indistinguishable in looks and behavior. EsmeA??s voiceA??sharp, observant, and with a quiet, mordant witA??chronicles the rise and fall and further fall of her complicated parents, as well as her own painful reckoning with love and life. A coming-of-age story with a tinge of noir, and a tale that illuminates the promise and perils of the American dream and its dreamers, The Magnificent Esme Wells is immersive, moving, and compelling.