Wednesday, February 21, 2018

783 (2018 #6). Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures


by Emma Straub

I've had this book sitting on my shelves TBR for a while, and it seemed like a good one to read after The Girls in the Picture.  It starts at a later time, past the silent movie era, in 1929, when Elsa Emerson is nine years old and growing up in Door County, Wisconsin, where her father operates a summer playhouse on the family's land.  She loves acting and decides to head out to Los Angeles to become a movie star, eventually being christened Laura Lamont by the producer who ultimately marries her.  Laura does become a star, but she also struggles with the traditional roles of women at the time (particularly motherhood) as well as with her family of origin.  Straub covers the 50 years from 1929 to 1980 in just over 300 pages. 

Emma Straub modeled the early life of Elsa / Laura on real-life actress Jennifer Jones. Other characters in the book seemed to be based on other real Hollywood figures. For example, Irving Greene is based on Irving Thalberg, and his partner Louis Gardner on Louis B. Mayer.  Ginger appears to be modeled on Lucille Ball. 

While it's not deep, I actually liked this book, because Laura / Elsa feels like a real person and *not* a star.

© Amanda Pape - 2018

[This advance reader edition was sent to me by the Book Report Network.  It will be passed on to someone else to enjoy.]

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