Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures

Front Cover
Riverhead Books, 2012 - Fiction - 306 pages
37 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.

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

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tercat - LibraryThing

Wheee! This is my first Goodreads "First Reads" giveaway win! CAUTION: The review below contains some mild spoilers. August 12, 2012 Though I'm not quite halfway through the book, I have much to say ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - readerbynight - LibraryThing

From a summer playhouse theatre on a Wisconsin farm to an award-winning star, this novel is an intoxicating blend of the siren's song of the stage and the dreams of a little girl. Encompassing the ... Read full review

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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.

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