Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures

Front Cover
Riverhead Books, 2012 - Fiction - 306 pages
14 Reviews
A Bookpage Best Books of 2012 pick

The enchanting story of a midwestern girl who escapes a family tragedy and is remade as a movie star during Hollywood’s golden age.


In 1920, Elsa Emerson, the youngest and blondest of three sisters, is born in idyllic Door County, Wisconsin. Her family owns the Cherry County Playhouse, and more than anything, Elsa relishes appearing onstage, where she soaks up the approval of her father and the embrace of the audience. But when tragedy strikes her family, her acting becomes more than a child¹s game of pretend.

While still in her teens, Elsa marries and flees to Los Angeles. There she is discovered by Irving Green, one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood, who refashions her as a serious, exotic brunette and renames her Laura Lamont. Irving becomes Laura’s great love; she becomes an Academy Award­-winning actress—and a genuine movie star. Laura experiences all the glamour and extravagance of the heady pinnacle of stardom in the studio-system era, but ultimately her story is a timeless one of a woman trying to balance career, family, and personal happiness, all while remaining true to herself.

Ambitious and richly imagined, Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures is as intimate—and as bigger-than-life—as the great films of the golden age of Hollywood. Written with warmth and verve, it confirms Emma Straub’s reputation as one of the most exciting new talents in fiction.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
2
4 stars
1
3 stars
3
2 stars
7
1 star
1

Also: the ending was lovely, just lovely. - Goodreads
The writing really wasn't that good. - Goodreads
Straub is a good writer. - Goodreads

Review: Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures

User Review  - Diana - Goodreads

When I was a about 11, I discovered The Bookateria, a used paperback bookstore with good prices in Ocean City,NJ, and I spent a few years tearing through Sidney Sheldon, Jacqueline Susann, and ... Read full review

Review: Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures

User Review  - Mimi - Goodreads

This story felt incomplete. Laura's rise to fame is sketchy, and her time at the top is sketchier still--her life before and after is more the book's focus (the title misleads!). I was expecting at ... Read full review

All 2 reviews »

About the author (2012)

Emma Straub is from New York City. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published by Tin House, The Paris Review Daily, Time, Slate, and The New York Times, and she is a staff writer for Rookie. Straub lives with her husband in Brooklyn, where she also works as a bookseller.

Bibliographic information