!!> EPUB ❄ Finding Dorothy ✿ Author Elizabeth Letts – Writerscompany.co.uk
This Richly Imagined Novel Tells The Story Behind The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, The Book That Inspired The Iconic Film, Through The Eyes Of Author L Frank Baum S Intrepid Wife, Maud A Breathtaking Read That Will Transport You Over The Rainbow And Into The Heart Of One Of America S Most Enduring Fairy Tales Lisa Wingate, Author Of Before We Were YoursHollywood, As Soon As She Learns That M G M Is Adapting Her Late Husband S Masterpiece For The Screen, Seventy Seven Year Old Maud Gage Baum Sets About Trying To Finagle Her Way Onto The Set Nineteen Years After Frank S Passing, Maud Is The Only Person Who Can Help The Producers Stay True To The Spirit Of The Book Because She S The Only One Left Who Knows Its SecretsBut The Moment She Hears Judy Garland Rehearsing The First Notes Of Over The Rainbow, Maud Recognizes The Yearning That Defined Her Own Life Story, From Her Youth As A Suffragette S Daughter To Her Coming Of Age As One Of The First Women In The Ivy League, From Her Blossoming Romance With Frank To The Hardscrabble Prairie Years That Inspired The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz Judy Reminds Maud Of A Young Girl She Cared For And Tried To Help In South Dakota, A Dreamer Who Never Got Her Happy Ending Now, With The Young Actress Under Pressure From The Studio As Well As Her Ambitious Stage Mother, Maud Resolves To Protect Her The Way She Tried So Hard To Protect The Real DorothyThe Author Of TwoNew York Times Bestselling Nonfiction Books , The Eighty Dollar Champion And The Perfect Horse, Elizabeth Letts Is A Master At Discovering And Researching A Rich Historical Story And Transforming It Into A Page Turner Finding Dorothy Is The Result Of Letts S Journey Into The Amazing Lives Of Frank And Maud Baum Written As Fiction But Based Closely On The Truth, Elizabeth Letts S New Book Tells A Story Of Love, Loss, Inspiration, And Perseverance, Set In America S HeartlandPraise ForFinding DorothyIn Some Ways Reminiscent Of Jerry Stahl S Excellent I, Fatty, Letts Finding Dorothy Combines Exhaustive Research With Expansive Imagination, Blending History And Speculation Into A Seamless Tapestry It S A Testament To Letts Skill That She Can Capture On The Page, Without Benefit Of Audio, That Same Emotion We Have All Felt Sometime Over The Last Years While Listening To Over The Rainbow BookPage Starred Review This is a sweet story of the widow of L Frank Baum, the writer of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz It s told both during the making of the movie years after Mr Baum has passed on and the years of their lives together Mrs Maud Baum, the daughter of a suffragette, is one of the first women to go to Cornell as a coed There, she is introduced to her future husband, the cousin of her roommate She defies her mother to marry this theatre man This isn t a deep tale or an overly impressive story But it is entertaining We hear everything from Maud s perspective and it s definitely her story, not Frank s The movie is so well known, it s easy to picture Judy Garland and the scenes from the movie as they are created You do learn interesting stories involving the origination of different ideas within the story, how the movie differed from the book and about the actors I was pleased to learn that most of the inspiration for the book discussed in the novel is based on fact, as is a lot of the information concerning the movie s production I never felt a connection with Maud I never felt like she came across as a three dimensional character Frank reminded me in some ways of P T Barnum, a fantastic imagination coupled with horrible business instinct So, this will appeal to those who are eager to learn something about the story than those who like an in depth character driven novel My thanks to netgalley and Random House Ballantine Books for an advance copy of this novel. 3.5 stars rounded up The Wizard of Oz has been one of my favorite movies for years than I m willing to admit I ve seen it so many times that I can recite a lot of the dialogue by heart I have to admit, though, that I have never read the book and having read this novel makes me want to read it If I had read the book, I would have known that the ruby slippers weren t red and that Oz is not emerald green, among other things I just knew that this book would evoke nostalgic feelings and it did It also brings to light some of things that happened behind the scenes during the filming of the movie and brings us the back story of L Frank Baum But this really in so many ways is the story of his wife Maud Gage Baum Through Maud s story, we come to know the origin of the book, and the personal lives of the Baums in a dual time line narrative from Maud s early life starting in 1871 to the Hollywood of 1939 It was so interesting to see the behind the scenes story of the movie, but so sad to see the workings of the Hollywood machine and how Judy Garland was treated at age 15 She was given pills to help her lose weight, pills to help her sleep, 80 cigarettes a day to help with her diet, slapped in the face when she couldn t stop giggling during a scene with the Cowardly Lion So sad, as we know what eventually happens with Judy Garland with addiction The manipulation and abuse of a young girl, illustrates the lengths that the studio executives would go to insure success Though Maud s role here may be the most fictionalized part, I loved her tenacity and perseverance in trying to insure that the movie reflected her husband s vision and her desire to take care of Judy Garland I have to say that the part of the book that I found most engaging was the making of the movie, although Maud s earlier life lays the groundwork for the toughness she exhibits in 1939 I always enjoy knowing the seed for a story, what prompted the author to write a particular story Loved reading in the afterward, how seeing the movie for the first time at 4 years old ignited her love and connection to Dorothy and then reading it to her son made her wonder about Baum Seeing a photograph of Maud Baum and Judy Garland taken in 1939 is when she says I realized I had found a story This appears to be very well researched, and while Letts says she altered some dates and names, she says most of my story is based on known historical fact , consulting biographies and diaries, letters and photographs Recommended to others who loved the book or movie as I still do I received an advanced copy of this book from Ballantine Books through NetGalley. NOW AVAILABLE I FIND MYSELF TELLING EVERYONE ABOUT THIS BOOK My 2019 year of reading is off to a wonderful start partly because of this wonderful book This is such an original story that I couldn t wait to start reading and I was not disappointed The fact that I ve watched this movie over a dozen times improved my experience because when Maud, our main character, is talking about the scenes that were being filmed, I could remember each and every one of them.From the blurb you know that this novel is written from the point of view of Maud Gage Baum, wife of L Frank Baum, the author of The Wizard of Oz There are two time frames, one starting in the 1870 s when Maud and Frank are young, married, very poor and raising their family of four boys The other time frame takes place during the taping of the movie around 1939.Maud was the daughter of a Matilda Gage a leading voice for women s rights, Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton were frequent visitors in their home Matilda wanted her daughter to be independent, well educated and have a life of her own continuing to carry out her mother s work for women s rights When Maud was introduced to Frank by her college roommate they quickly fell in love Matilda was so upset with Maud marrying a theater man actor that she never spoke to her again after their marriage.Maud and Frank started their marriage living in Dakota starting various start up businesses that never seemed to take off One, a fantastical sounding children s toy store, was said to contain just about any toy that a child could wish for The store did well for some time but when the town fell on hard times Frank was forced to sell the store and go to work as a salesman Maud took in sewing to keep a home for the boys and food on the table During this time she tried to help her sister Julia who had married a hard headed and perhaps abusive husband She lived quite far away but they did visit occasionally and Maud was in charmed and in love with her little niece, who is quite probably Frank s inspiration for Dorothy, right down to the blue gingham dress that Maud sewed for her Throughout all of their hard times Frank always found ways to make things magical for his children with his wit and imaginative play interactions.The second time line takes place during the filming of the movie where Maud tries to keep the leaders of MGM to keep true to her husband s story She befriends Judy Garland whom she quickly sees is being treated terribly Her mother along with the director keep Judy on diet pills so that she won t grow out of the part since she is reaching puberty She is also encouraged to smoke cigarettes to tame her hunger and was even slapped in the face when she couldn t stop laughing in a part of the filming I already knew where this beginning addiction led the singer actress and was ashamed that it was her mother who encouraged this behavior.I did feel a connection to Maud, I liked her ability to always find the silver lining and make the most of what the family had to stay happy Later I loved her strength and tenacity to try to help Judy through the tough times during filming It was interesting learning so many things about the original Wizard of Oz Frank never wanted anything to scare children in his books and there was no wicked witch in his story Oz was supposed to be a wonderland that children could escape to when things were sad or difficult for them Of note is the fact that the studio almost cut Over the Rainbow because they thought it was too long There is much to discover in this book.I encourage everyone to read this book and if by chance you have never watched the movie, please do so, it is a treasured movie icon I received an ARC of this novel from the publishers through NetGalley The book is set to publish February 12, 2019. Now, almost twenty years after her husband s death, many people didn t recognize his name, but was there anyone, big or small, who didn t know Dorothy and the Scarecrow, the tin man and the Lion Who hasn t seen the Wizard of Oz Anyone I know that I still watch it at least once a year Finding Dorothy tells the story of the making of The Wizard of Oz and the story of Maud Gage Baum the widow of the Author and her life with her husband, Frank Baum L Frank Baum The Struggles they faced during their marriage, their love, and Frank s writing of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.This book is told in two time lines Maud and Frank s life together and later when Maud goes to Hollywood and is on set and strikes up a relationship with Judy Garland during the filming of The Wizard of Oz I learned many interesting facts while reading this book the ruby red shoes I coveted as a child, were not meant to be red, Emerald City was not green, they almost cut Somewhere over the Rainbow out of the movie and that Judy Garland was slapped, forced to go every other day without food, had to smoke 80 cigarettes a day and took pills to suppress her appetite and then those to help her sleep Judy won an Academy Award for her performance and walked away with a drug problem.Maud was a formidable woman and stood up for Garland and became friends with her Through the course of the filming, when not sticking up for Garland, she was fighting with producers to keep true to her husband s work She was spunky and not afraid to speak her mind and speak up when she saw something which wasn t right She was, after all, the daughter of a famous women s suffrage and feminist activist.This started a little slow for me and I found myself picking up other books, but then it hooked me I appreciated the dual timelines and learning about Maud s earlier life It is a shame that L Frank Baum never lived to see his work made into a movie A former actor and theater man, I imagine he would have been proud of the movie and of his wife for becoming involved and being there during the filming I am finding that I am enjoying reading the Afterword of books and and this book was no exception The Author tells how as a young girl she wanted to be like Dorothy one who could stare down a lion, melt a witch, tame a wizard She also shares history on Frank and Maud Baum and her quest to learn about the movie and her motivation to write this book This is an enjoyable book that I am sure fans of the movie and the book will enjoy I learned a lot and it was fun to see place I know, and have been to, talked about in this book I appreciated how the Author took real people and used real events and facts from their lives to write this book This is a book that has heart and is a lovely tribute to an iconic and well loved movie and the story behind the movie The Story of how the book came to be, the story of a man who dreamed of a better place, full of interesting characters This is the story of dreamers, of actors, of writers, of couples, of family and of Oz.Thank you to Random House Publishing Group Ballantine and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review The thoughts and opinions are my own.