***This book was provided for free through NetGalley. My review and any opinion I may give of this book is completely honest.***
“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. My Thoughts: I love a good historical fiction. I really do, especially when the author is able to combine fact and fiction in such a way that you can't put the book down because it's just that good. I was vaguely familiar with the main characters in this book but only because of a film appreciation class in college. I knew the names but not the amazing legacy and drive these women possessed. Mary Pickford was the highest paid actress of her time not to mention she also worked behind the scenes and had great business acumen. She was known as "America's Sweetheart" which annoyed her because she wanted to be known as more than a pretty face. She went on to befriend Frances Marion who was also a lady well ahead of her time. Frances was one of the first female screenwriters and her and Mary broke all kinds of stereotypes. Frances wrote over 100 scripts and even won 2 Academy Awards. Mary was one of the original founders of the United Artists film company and of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Unfortunately, we still have so far to go in honoring and recognizing female talent in the film industry. This is such a great read about 2 very talented women.