Jillian is a secondary character in the book, “Palm Avenue,” but a very important one. Although Jillian has very little in common with Ashley, she represents the ghost of Christmas future for Ashley. Jillian is a woman who came to Los Angeles and experienced a short period of success as a model, and then used her striking good looks to manipulate men. The problem is that when someone trades on their looks alone, there is an expiration date on that.
A few sentences in the book describe Jillian’s dilemma,” Inside she was churning with terror. She had traveled the world for a time living the glamorous, decadent life of a model. That short period of time when she was a model created an expectation in her mind that was not very much in tune with reality. She had developed a sense of entitlement that was far beyond what her value in the world actually was. She was really just another long legged beautiful girl that was a commodity to be bought, sold, and discarded.”
In “Palm Avenue,” Jillian is near the end of her expiration date and desperate to come up with a plan. Behind on her rent and car payments, Jillian needs to come up with something fast. Jillian meets Ashley at the beginning of her Hollywood journey, and befriends the young actress only because she can possibly somehow exploit her. In Hollywood, friendliness is not always what it seems to be.
Obsessed with money and materialism, Jillian is not willing to downsize her lifestyle. She eventually comes up with what she think is a viable survival strategy with her Beverly Hills psychiatrist, Dr. Davis. Things go haywire however; when Jillian’s delusional survival strategy fails. In Jillian’s case, desperate times require desperate measures. Jillian rings in the New Year with a bang, giving Sunset Boulevard party goers an experience they will never forget.