The Girls in the Picture

The Girls in the Picture

Book - 2018
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" Girls could not be more timely--or troubling--about the treatment of women in the workplace. . . . [A] rich exploration of two Hollywood friends who shaped the movies."-- USA Today

"One of the pleasures of The Girls in the Picture is its no-males-necessary alliance of two determined females--#TimesUp before its time."--NPR

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator's Wife, a fascinating novel of the friendship and creative partnership between two of Hollywood's earliest female legends--screenwriter Frances Marion and superstar Mary Pickford

It is 1914, and twenty-five-year-old Frances Marion has left her (second) husband and her Northern California home for the lure of Los Angeles, where she is determined to live independently as an artist. But the word on everyone's lips these days is "flickers"--the silent moving pictures enthralling theatergoers. Turn any corner in this burgeoning town and you'll find made-up actors running around, as a movie camera captures it all.

In this fledgling industry, Frances finds her true calling: writing stories for this wondrous new medium. She also makes the acquaintance of actress Mary Pickford, whose signature golden curls and lively spirit have earned her the title "America's Sweetheart." The two ambitious young women hit it off instantly, their kinship fomented by their mutual fever to create, to move audiences to a frenzy, to start a revolution.

But their ambitions are challenged by both the men around them and the limitations imposed on their gender--and their astronomical success could come at a price. As Mary, the world's highest paid and most beloved actress, struggles to live her life under the spotlight, she also wonders if it is possible to find love, even with the dashing actor Douglas Fairbanks. Frances, too, longs to share her life with someone. As in any good Hollywood story, dramas will play out, personalities will clash, and even the deepest friendships might be shattered.

With cameos from such notables as Charlie Chaplin, Louis B. Mayer, Rudolph Valentino, and Lillian Gish, The Girls in the Picture is, at its heart, a story of friendship and forgiveness. Melanie Benjamin perfectly captures the dawn of a glittering new era--its myths and icons, its possibilities and potential, and its seduction and heartbreak.
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, [2018]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781101886809
1101886803
Branch Call Number: FIC BENJA
Characteristics: 422 pages

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darladoodles
Dec 18, 2017

Spanning the years from 1914 to 1969, we see friendship blossom between Mary Pickford and her scenarist Frances Marion. They forge a partnership that has its ups and downs and shows us the evolution of movies and the Hollywood culture. Along the way we have glimpses of other on-screen greats like Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks. Benjamin did her research and as she mentions in her Author's Note, had to pick and choose what to feature in her book. It was fascinating to see these two women adapt and change as their business is transformed from silent feature films to "talkies" and beyond. Well worth the read!

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