Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub
- Method of Obtaining: I obtained my copy via LibraryThing.
- Published by: Riverhead
- Release Date: 9/4/2012
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.
- Love reading stories set in the 1920′s
I’ve been in love with family sagas that begin somewhere around the 1920′s and Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures is another title to add to that list.
Laura Lamont (who was not a real actress, as familiar as her name might sound) was born Elsa Emerson in Door County, Wisconsin to a family of theater-lovers. Her father who owned a theater company invested in his three daughters but ended up with just one who loved the stage – Elsa.
Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures travels from Elsa/Laura’s life as a young girl all the way through her mature years. Heartbreak, success, horror, pain, love, and hope all make their familiar way through the themes in this book and, although the story might seem familiar, it’s the fact that it’s there, as a whole, in the book which makes this book something special.
That doesn’t make much sense, now that I just re-read what I wrote, but I cannot think of any other way to word it. Just by the events in this book being put together, the story becomes something special. In order to understand better, I guess you would need to read the book.
Now, in spite of all that praise, there was a small part of the book that I struggled with. One of the themes that moves through the book is one dealing with the seriousness of depression and the result was some pretty gaping plot holes. I would have liked to see those handled more cleverly, but they weren’t glaring enough to make me lose focus on the story as a whole.
All in all, if you love family sagas and are entranced by the idea of the golden age of Hollywood, this is a story you must pick up.
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