Maureen Howard deepens her inquiry into the meeting place of history and family in this stunning and accessible novel. Isabel Murphy renounced silent-film stardom to raise a family in Rhode Island. Now she is dead at 90 and her children are trying to break free of the lives she has dealt them. Joe, a Jesuit priest, has failed at love and the healing of souls. Stodgy Rita has found late happiness with a gangster who has turned state’s evidence. And Gemma, Isabel’s honorary child, has grown up to experience a strange celebrity as a photographer. A darkly comic story of guilt, love, and forgiveness, The Silver Screen is luminous in its intelligence and empathy.