The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

The Girls in the Picture

A fascinating novel of the friendship and creative partnership between two of Hollywood’s earliest female legends—screenwriter Frances Marion and superstar Mary Pickford—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator’s Wife

It is 1914, and twenty-five-year-old Frances Marion has left her (second) husband and her Northern California

Julie

The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin is a 2018 Delacorte Press publication.

I love tales from old Hollywood- the silent pictures, the scandals, the innovations and vision that are felt throughout the industry to this day.

This story zeroes in on the tumultuous friendship between movie star Mary Pickford and screenwriter, Frances Marion.

I loved the way Benjamin gives Frances such real and believable voice as she regales us with the beginning days of ‘flickers’ and the way her friendship

I love tales from old Hollywood- the silent pictures, the scandals, the innovations and vision that are felt throughout the industry to this day.

This story zeroes in on the tumultuous friendship between movie star Mary Pickford and screenwriter, Frances Marion.

I loved the way Benjamin gives Frances such real and believable voice as she regales us with the beginning days of ‘flickers’ and the way her friendship with Pickford developed, flourished, was tested, then faded, but through good and bad times, was never broken.

The portrait of both Pickford and Marion is vivid, as is the way the movie industry got off the ground and how Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Charles Chaplin became the first big movie stars. The story captures that exciting atmosphere, but also gives the reader a look at the issues facing women in the industry, which, although this is a piece of historical fiction, makes this a timely topic, all the same.

The struggles Marion and Pickford faced helped pave the way for women in the industry, and will sound all too familiar as women continue to grapple with the same power imbalances, harassment, and the pressure to make concessions on the way to success.

Pickford is a sad figure, stereotyped, with her fans refusing to allow her to ever grow up. She’s often shallow, self- absorbed, and jealous, while Marion is the pragmatist, often giving in to whatever Pickford wanted.

This is an interesting approach to Marion and Pickford’s long friendship. Although the pacing is just a tiny bit uneven at times, I think Benjamin pulls it off beautifully.

Naturally, anytime I read a work of fiction, based on real people, it always makes me wonder what was real and what was fiction, and of course I always want to read more on the subject or person. The author provides the reader with a few reading suggestions, so I will certainly want to take her advice to learn more about the silent film era, and look at both Marion and Pickford a little closer.

I’ve said this about Melanie Benjamin before, but I think it bears repeating. She certainly does have a knack for writing historical fiction. I’m always impressed with the way she takes well known figures from the past, and gives them a voice that seems so utterly real, I keep having to remind myself that it is a work of fiction.

Overall, this is an interesting, fascinating, and incredibly absorbing look at the silent film era, and two of the most influential ladies of their time.

4.5
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Theresa Alan

Dec 19, 2017

rated it
it was amazing

 · 
review of another edition

This is a novel I will be recommending to everyone. Historical fiction, The Girls in the Picture is a book for everyone who has an interest in the evolution of film and of women trying to be taken seriously in the workplace.

Frances doesn’t want to be an actress, but she wants to be a part of the movies, and she finds her niche as a “scenarist” during the era of silent films, when the “flickers” were considered a low form of entertainment and certainly not an art form. She becomes great friends w

Frances doesn’t want to be an actress, but she wants to be a part of the movies, and she finds her niche as a “scenarist” during the era of silent films, when the “flickers” were considered a low form of entertainment and certainly not an art form. She becomes great friends with Mary, who has been on the stage taking care of the rest of her family since she was just eight years old. Mary comes to the flickers because of the money. The two women are at the forefront of a burgeoning industry, which means becoming the first movie stars with rabid fans.

The story covers the challenges of the casting couch for female actresses. Women can’t take time off for children–men don’t have that worry and can have all the kids they want. All the Harvey Weinstein-esque terrible sexual behavior existed then, but perhaps worse was that women’s ideas were also belittled.

Marriage, life, and careers strain their friendship. The Girls in the Picture is a masterfully written novel about the personal and professional bonds of women during a fascinating time in history.

Thanks so much to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book, which RELEASES JAN 16, 2018.

For more of my reviews, please visit http://www.theresaalan.net/blog
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