From actress to author
What: Meg Tilly reads from Cliff's Edge
When: 7 pm Sat., Jun. 8
Where: Village Books, 1200 11th St.
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Meg Tilly no longer thinks of herself as a movie star, but the actress who was nominated for an Academy Award for her titular role in the 1985 film Agnes of God—playing a novice nun who insists the baby she gave birth to in her room was the result of a virgin conception—hasn’t entirely left Hollywood behind.
We’re not talking about her turn as Brad Pitt’s wife in the 2017 satirical film War Machine, but rather referring to the second iteration of her Solace Island series, Cliff’s Edge, which she’ll present and read from at a gathering Sat., June 8 at Village Books.
In the novel, relationship-weary Eve Harris is looking forward to a quiet week alone as she house-sits for her sister Maggie. But when oh-so-handsome movie star Rhys Thomas unexpectedly shows up on the doorstep claiming to be her new brother-in-law’s best friend and needing a break from the rigors of filming, the flame from the duo’s spark is unmistakable. Unfortunately, as they’re both basking in the heady glow of this new attraction, a terrifying darkness is growing ever-closer in the form of a murderous stalker.
Like the first book in the lineup, Solace Island is where the action takes place. Set in the Pacific Northwest—where Tilly lives and where she raised her trio of now-grown children after choosing them over bright lights and big cities—the series is the result of the Golden Globe-winner’s lifelong love of romance novels. (For the record, Tilly, 59, has also published several young adult and women’s fiction novels to acclaim since her first book came came out in 1994.)
According to a number of reviews, one need not have read the first book to enjoy the second. It also sounds like Tilly’s past experiences in Hollywood have given her insight into characters like Rhys, who still comes off as human even though he’s got a megawatt smile and charisma to spare.
In fact, Tilly’s past has informed much of her work. She and her sister, actress Jennifer Tilly, spent much of their youth on rural Texada Island in British Columbia, but life there wasn’t easy. Meg claims she started taking dance lessons to escape physical and sexual abuse from their stepfather, and that eventually prompted her to move to New York City to pursue a dance career.
Tilly’s film debut was actually as a dancer in the 1980 musical drama Fame, but after an injury brought her dance career to a halt, Los Angeles was next on the list. It wasn’t long before she was back on the big screen in roles in One Dark Night, Psycho II, The Big Chill, and the aforementioned Agnes of God.
Her first novel, Singing Songs, focused on a young girl named Anna and her sisters, who are all being molested by their stepfather. The New York Times praised the “coherence and clarity” of Anna’s narrative voice, and Tilly showed the world that she was more than just an actress. She was someone capable of channeling both pain and joy for the sake of storytelling—whether onstage or on the page.
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