Monday, October 8, 2012
Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures by Emma Straub
Else Emerson is a young girl from small town Wisconsin who's never traveled further than Chicago but is happy working behind the scenes in her father's small summer theatre until tragedy strikes the family. So Else marries the first guy with dreams who comes along and travels with him by bus to Hollywood to break into the movies. Instead she gives birth to two daughters in rapid succession and stays at home with them while her husband plays bit parts for a large studio. Attending a studio event with her husband she's discovered by the studio head who encourages her to change her name to Laura Lamont. In time he makes her into a successful leading lady and becomes the love of her life after she divorces her first husband. The Oscar that highlights her career is marred by her mother's negative reaction to her fame and, more importantly, her Jewish husband. Life's not easy for Laura/Else as she must deal with the death of loved ones, mental illness, addiction, the loss of her career and poverty. But she's strong and muddles through. Not a terribly deep book but well written and interesting enough.