The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin

the girls in the picture

Pages: 448

Publisher: Random House Publishers (Delacorte Press)

Published: January 16, 2018

Rating 3.5 stars.

Mary Pickford started as a silent “flicker” actress and continued acting when “talkers” were introduced. She made her stardom as portraying the “little girl with the curls.” One day early in her career a young woman from San Francisco, Marion Frances, entered her acting trailer and life for both changed drastically. Marion wanted to be behind the camera and Mary wanted to be in front. This allowed Marion to write the screenplays that Mary could act in. We follow their lives as they intertwine and separate over the years of 1914 to 1969.

I was very excited to get an advanced copy to read as I did not know much about Mary Pickford, other than she was an actress and I had never heard of Marion Frances (who I think was the real star of the two). While I think this book is very interesting, it has many parts that just seemed to lack excitement and drug on for way too long. I would be reading and really into it and then I would hit a section that I had to force myself to get through. This is my main reason for a 3.5 rating and not a 4.

It is extremely interesting that there is a section that Marion talks about the sexual harassment she experienced in Hollywood and while she was a correspondent during World War One. With the movement going on the last couple of weeks regarding sexual harassment I find myself believing that Marion would have been one of the first to speak out in favor of equality and women telling their stories.

If you are an avid Hollywood fan and want to learn about how it got started this is a great historical fiction based on real people. Ms. Benjamin did an excellent job researching each character and keeping as much as she could true to fact.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for an advanced copy in exchange for a review in my own honest words.

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