Author: Emma Straub
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Pub Date - Paperback: July 2, 2013
Pub Date - Hardback: September 2012
The enchanting story of a midwestern girl who escapes a family tragedy and is remade as a movie star during Hollywood’s golden age.
In 1920, Elsa Emerson, the youngest and blondest of three sisters, is born in idyllic Door County, Wisconsin. Her family owns the Cherry County Playhouse, and more than anything, Elsa relishes appearing onstage, where she soaks up the approval of her father and the embrace of the audience. But when tragedy strikes her family, her acting becomes more than a child¹s game of pretend.
While still in her teens, Elsa marries and flees to Los Angeles. There she is discovered by Irving Green, one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood, who refashions her as a serious, exotic brunette and renames her Laura Lamont. Irving becomes Laura’s great love; she becomes an Academy Award-winning actress—and a genuine movie star. Laura experiences all the glamour and extravagance of the heady pinnacle of stardom in the studio-system era, but ultimately her story is a timeless one of a woman trying to balance career, family, and personal happiness, all while remaining true to herself.
Ambitious and richly imagined, Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures is as intimate—and as bigger-than-life—as the great films of the golden age of Hollywood. Written with warmth and verve, it confirms Emma Straub’s reputation as one of the most exciting new talents in fiction.
I found this to be an interesting novel of "making it". A small town girl with a fairly idealistic home life (her family lives on a large piece of property and has a summer playhouse on it - actors camping out all summer long!) falls for an actor one summer, leaves for Hollywood and let's him have his career while she has babies.
Then one day she is DISCOVERED!
From there the story deals with her rise to fame, the glory.......and hollowness.... of it all.
Elsa is a likeable girl, Laura an interesting creation, and the rest of the characters keep you involved in the story all the way through.