Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: 1914-1932 Hollywood
***I received an eARC copy of The Girls in the Picture from the publisher, Delacorte Press, via NetGalley***
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Review: Glamorous and dazzling! I really loved The Girls in the Picture. Telling the true story of Mary Pickford, the first movie star, and Frances Marion, a scenarist in early Hollywood, The Girls in the Picture sucked me in from the first page. Set in early Hollywood, Mary Pickford is a silent film star, when she meets Frances Marion, a woman determined to make it in the pictures. They become fast friends, and I loved reading about their friendship. It was very refreshing to read a book where the focus was on female friendships, and not on their love lives.
There is a bit of romance here, as Mary falls hard for Douglas Fairbanks, and Frances finds love as well, but there is so much more to these ladies than the men in their lives. The battle against gender stereotypes falls into play in this book, as Mary is a successful businesswoman, as well as one of the very first Hollywood celebrities and tries to fight the conventions of the time. Frances also directs movies and stands up to the men running Hollywood.
I found the historical tidbits about movies and Hollywood absolutely fascinating. The Girls in the Picture was a book that I kept thinking about when I wasn’t reading it, and was one that I tried to read any moment that I could. I loved reading about Mary’s acting techniques and tricks, and her determination to succeed. I loved reading about Frances’s struggles to break into the business and was fascinated about how Hollywood helped fund the American WWI effort and the rise of Hollywood’s popularity and the transition from silent films to talkies. If you are interested in movie history or celebrity history at all, you need to read this book! It was unlike anything else I’ve read, and I absolutely loved it. You’ll root for Mary and Frances to be successful in the world of men, and while it feels a tad heavy-handed at times, I was fascinated and drawn into the glamorous world of Hollywood.
Bottom Line: A fabulous, fascinating account of Old Hollywood! I loved it!