Melanie Benjamin presents THE GIRLS IN THE PICTURE a Novel

The Girls in the Picture

An intimate portrait of the close friendship and powerful creative partnership between two of Hollywood’s earliest female superstars: Frances Marion and Mary Pickford. An enchanting new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator’s Wife.

Hollywood, 1914. Frances Marion, a young writer desperate for a break, meets “America’s Sweetheart,” Mary Pickford, already making a name for herself both on and off the screen with her golden curls and lively spirit. Together, these two women will take the movie business by storm.

Mary Pickford becomes known as the “Queen of the Movies”—the first actor to have her name on a movie marquee, and the first to become a truly international celebrity. Mary and her husband, Douglas Fairbanks, were America’s first Royal Couple, living in a home more famous that Buckingham Palace. Mary won the first Academy Award for Best Actress in a Talkie and was the first to put her hand and footprints in Grauman’s theater sidewalk. Her annual salary in 1919 was $625,000—at a time when women’s salaries peaked at $10 a week. Frances Marion is widely considered one of the most important female screenwriters of the 20th century, and was the first writer to win multiple Academy Awards. The close personal friendship between the two stars was closely linked to their professional collaboration and success.

This is a novel about power: the power of women during the exhilarating early years of Hollywood, and the power of forgiveness. It’s also about the imbalance of power, then and now, and the sacrifices and compromises women must make in order to succeed. And at its heart, it’s a novel about the power of female friendship.

As a fan of old movies, this was a story I read with delight! From the very beginning of the film industry until 1969 we follow the stories of Frances Marion and Mary Pickford. While the author makes it clear that there is truth and fiction mixed in and she has done a wonderful job of splicing the two.

All of the big names are here, Douglas Fairbanks, the Gish sisters, Charlie Chaplin and so many more. This is a powerful story of women in a time when they were treated as inferior. And much like today, the film industry had its share of powerful men who took full advantage of the young actors flocking to California with dreams of becoming a star. The story couldn’t be more relevant than right now. Basically we see not much has changed for a lot of women in the industry.

But Frances and Mary take charge of their own fate and create their own stories. One who has been acting since she was a child, becoming the bread-winner early in her life and one who wanted to write and film stories with strong women and neither ever backed down. A book of strong woman and the inequality between women and men then and now.

From the first “flickers’ to the first talkies and color, this book was stunning!

Netgalley/Delacorte Press January 16, 2018

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The Best of My 2017 Awards!

It’s true. Today is your last reading day of the year! Have you met your Goodreads Challenge? All caught up on your Netgalley Reviews? Happy to say yes, I am. And following are some but by no means all of the best in their genres.

Best Debut Fiction:   Jennifer Irwin for A Dress The Color of The Sky. A book about addictions and breaking cycles. Movie rights have already been grabbed by Reese Witherspoon! I admire Jennifer so much for her work ethic and her writing skills!

A Dress the Color of the Sky

Best Historical Fiction: Katherine Arden for the follow-up to her award-winning The Bear and The Nightingale, The Girl in the Tower which was just as brilliant as the first book!

The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy, #2)

Best Thriller: Karin Slaughter with The Good Daughter. Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind.

The Good Daughter

Best Suspense Thriller: J.T.Ellison with Lie to Me. This was such a web of lies and deceit, you won’t unravel it until the spider is ready to jump!

Lie to Me

Best Crime Thriller:  Don Winslow with The Force. Another brilliant contribution by a favorite author! No one does crime like Winslow!

The Force

Best Horror Crime: J.D.Barker with The Fourth Monkey! Fans of the movie Se7en meets The Silence of the Lambs in this dark and twisting novel from the author Jeffery Deaver called, A talented writer with a delightfully devious mind.”

 

The Fourth Monkey (A 4MK Thriller, #1)

Best Cozy Mystery: A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron

A Cajun Christmas Killing (Cajun Country Mystery #3)

Best Non-Fiction: Helene Cooper with Madame President.The harrowing, but triumphant story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, leader of the Liberian women’s movement, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first democratically elected female president in African history.

Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Best Mystery: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Emma in the Night

Best Cookbook:  The Beach House Cookbook by Mary Kay Andrews

The Beach House Cookbook

Best General Fiction: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward who blew my mind with this book set in my Mississippi town.

Sing, Unburied, Sing

There could be hundreds more of the over 200 I read this year, but all of these I have read more than once, so that says a lot when you have a TBR list as long as mine.

What were your Best Reads of the Year?

So 2017 all I can say to you is Good bye!

Finished Up All Of My December Reads!

How are all of my fellow Book Bloggers doing on your Goodreads Challenge?

I will be gone next week so I’m getting all of my ARC reviews turned in beginning to read the May releases.

We had a death in our family last night, so I’ve loaded up the Fire Tablet, the Kindle and got a new book in the mail yesterday so I can sit in a corner and read wherever we may be.

Have a good day. Be Nice!

xx Patricia

The Green Ghost by Marion Dane Bauer

The Green Ghost

A Newbery Honor-Winning Author

It’s Christmas Eve, and Kaye’s family is on the way to her grandmother’s house in a swirling snowstorm. Suddenly the car hits a patch of ice. It slides across the road and skids into a snow-filled ditch! Through the car window, Kaye spots a light in the woods. Its glow leads her and her parents through the blizzard. They find a warm cabin and a kindly old woman named Elsa. And Kaye finds something else—a green ghost who needs her help!

Newbery Honor–winning author Marion Dane Bauer spins a third spooky tale to complement her previous stories, The Blue Ghost and The Red Ghost.

This is one of the sweetest stories!

When we knew the 5 and 7-year-old would be out for Winter Break for 3 weeks, we headed straight to the Metropolitan Library!  Loading up on books for everyone as well as the neat little personal video pre-loaded stories. Younger children can watch the Magic School Bus episodes and much more.

This is a great beginning chapter book for readers. Miss Charli Ava had no problem reading it. There was action, adventure, ghosts and blizzards, who wouldn’t love it? And how did I choose such a gem? It was sitting beside the 5 American Girl books I checked out.

This one though, started a conversation about life, death, ghosts and long ago times and words. The kids asked me to read it over and over! And now that we know there are more, I’m sure PaPa will swing by and get those too!

Thank you Ms. Bauer for this Christmas Joy!

Monday Reading Plan

    A spellbinding debut novel about the trailblazing poet Forugh Farrokhzhad, who defied Iranian society to find her voice and her destiny

“Remember the flight, for the bird is mortal.”—Forugh Farrokhzad

 Bestselling, beloved author of The Charm Bracelet spins a tale about a lost young woman and the family recipe box that changes her life.

A task a day to cure a broken heart.

Esmé Peel is approaching thirty with some trepidation, but hope in her heart. If she can just get her long-term boyfriend Andrew to propose, she will have ticked everything off her ‘things to do by the time you’re 30’ list.

Books for the week. I was thrilled when I was contacted about doing  The Recipe Box. I adore this author!

What’s everyone else reading this week?

xx Patricia    Read a book.

 

Historically Dead ( A Stitch in Time Mystery) by Greta McKennan

Historically Dead (A Stitch in Time Mystery #2)

Seamstress Daria Dembrowski must find a historically-minded killer before the fabric of her peaceful town rips wide open . . . 
 
When the reality show My House in History comes to Laurel Springs, Pennsylvania, savvy seamstress Daria Dembrowski sees a business opportunity. The show follows two elderly sisters’ quest to restore their colonial mansion, and that means a heap of work for a seamstress who specializes in historical textiles. Although one of the old women is a bit of a grump, Daria loves the job—until she discovers one of the researchers dead, and the whole project threatens to unwind.

The professor was researching the sisters’ famous ancestor, Revolutionary War legend Samuel Compton, and died after finding evidence that Compton was a traitor. As a series of historical crimes pile up, from a stolen Paul Revere platter to a chilling incident of arson, Daria must find the killer quickly, for her life is hanging by a thread.

This is the second book in the Stitch in Time Mysteries.

When Daria heard about the reality show My House in History, a contest among several homes being restored to their original interiors. Out go the appliances and everything else that isn’t true to the 1770’s.

The house is owned by elderly sisters Ruth and Priscilla Compton, they are the relatives of Revolutionary War hero Samuel Compton. These two women are as different as night and day. One so sweet and docile and one so gruff and suspicious.

Daria herself lives in one of those big,old houses with her brother and roommate. She used to share it with a boyfriend who turned out to be an unsavory character.

However when the professor turns up dead in his office the man himself turns up as an attorney for the show.

What does he want now? What did the professor uncover? There are more than just a few nasty little characters in here. The start of the book I had trouble getting into. And at the end of the book, I still didn’t feel any connection to them.

I like the idea of cozy mystery in a historical setting. All in all I enjoyed learning the history lesson and really enjoyed the ladies.

Netgalley/Lyrical Underground   December 19,2017

THE WORLD BELONGS TO THOSE WHO READ

Reading some really interesting, educational, and fun reads this week.

The Girls in the Picture is full of old Hollywood Legends and their rivalries. The Undertaker’s Daughter is taking place at a funeral home and my book boyfriend Stone Barrington is back from Stuart Woods doing his naughty and nice thing with Quick and Dirty.

In the meantime I’m also reading a really good thriller!  The big story however is the temperature. 24 degrees when I woke up. That is totally unacceptable and Mother Nature needs to get her stuff together. I can not handle the freezing cold and Donald Trump. Pick one and take care of it girl!

Stay warm. Read a Book. Learn something. Be Nice.

xx Patricia