It is 1914, and 25-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.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kay on 12-02-18
I have enjoyed other books written by Melanie Benjamin more than this title. It is not very well written - overly dramatic and sappy.
I have also listened to other titles narrated by Kimberly Farr - and have enjoyed her interpretation of those titles. This time - not so much. Again the phrase "overly dramatic" says it best.
I finished this title because I was interested in the subject and main characters. Although I did roll my eyes at the writing & narration - I enjoyed hearing about (even in a fictional way) the actors, writers and others who were there when the movies began.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Aaron Leonard on 12-02-18
More Fran, a little less Mary.
I enjoyed learning more about the life and career of Francis Marion. The Mary Pickford portions weren’t as interesting. I found the narrator completely wrong to voice these young, vibrant women.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful