Against the backdrop of Hollywood in the 1930's, an eye-catching, 15-year-old girl is catapulted into fame. Xavia "Excy" O'Brian, the impoverished, orphaned, daughter of a famous, silent movie star, becomes the protégé of Hal Sonderson, a studio executive. With help from the family of her best friend, Annie, she escapes an amoral foster home and goes to live with Annie's Aunt Tillie. Excy meets many Hollywood personages including an Italian count, Alberto. Ted Wallace, Annie's older brother, always plays a pivotal role in her life.
On a promotional studio tour in Europe, adolescence, naivety and impending war cause difficulties in Excy's life. She is swept off her feet by Alberto in Paris. Their romance is complicated by his marriage and his military duties. Excy returns to Hollywood with a secret. Seeking an exit from Hal's control, her ambitions are torn between career and love.
World War II dominates Hollywood from1940-45. It plays an ominous role in everyone's lives. Familiar movie stars, world events, and coming of age are woven into her story. At the end of the war, Hal makes Excy a surprising career offer and Excy must answer.