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Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures by Emma Straub

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

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.

Goodreads Summary

I wasn't used to reading a book like this.  It was really interesting-I didn't really love the main character, Laura, but I didn't hate her either.  She did a lot of things that I simply wouldn't do or even consider; however, I also felt like I was living vicariously through her.  This story follows a plotline that the readers can likely guess-small town girl makes it big in Hollywood and gets more than a little carried away.  In some ways, I was reminded of Marilyn Monroe or Madonna.  I liked how the author showed a great deal of the main characters' background because she seemed much more real and sympathetic.  The secondary characters were good supporting characters that emphasized a lot of Laura's more interesting qualities.  

The plot itself wasn't anything new, but the author carried it out well.  I didn't hate or like the main character and I thought the author did a good job developing the characters and keeping a fairly impartial look at what goes on in the story.  This book is recommended to adult readers.

3 Stars

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. Chelsea B. said...:

    This sounds like a book I'd really like to pick up!