FREE DOWNLOAD Ï Finding Dorothy: A Novel

Elizabeth Letts ↠ 1 FREE DOWNLOAD

Tion She who hesitates is lost That was another of Matildas expressions Seventy seven years old and Maud sometimes still felt as if her mother were perched just behind the wings whispering stage instructionsThe receptionist was a young woman with a well coiffed platinum bob Actress she askedMost definitely notThe girl raised a stylishly penciled eyebrow and gave Maud the once over from her gray curls down to her sturdy brown pumpsAre you She leaned in His mother To her credit Maud did not show her irritation Mrs L Frank Baum I have an appointmentThe young woman narrowed her eyes the rubber tip of her pencil ticking down the list Im sorry Mrs Baum You arent on Mr Mayers scheduleCheck again Maud insisted One oclock I made this appointment weeks ago She wouldnt let them turn her away now Shed been waiting too long for this day to arriveYoull have to speak to Mrs Koverman She dropped her voice Mount Ida No one gets to Mr Mayer without going through her firstMaud smiled Im uite adept at going through peopleTake the elevator to the third floor Mrs Kovermans desk will be right in front of youAs Maud waited for the elevator her blurry reflection looked back at her from the shining brass of the twin doors She hoped that her expression reflected a resoluteness of spirit rather than the trepidation she was now feeling as this important meeting was at last upon herThird floor she said to the uniformed elevator man stepping insideWhen the doors slid open she faced a secretarys desk with a plaue that read mrs ida koverman A stout matron with bobbed brown hair inspected MaudMaud Baum Maud said I have an appointment with Mr Louis B MayerOn what business My late husband Maud was horrified to hear her voice sueakMrs Koverman looked at her with no trace of sympathyMy late husband Mr L Frank Baum was the author of The Wonderful Wizard of OzMrs Kovermans expression did not softenMaud had long since noted that there were two kinds of people in the world fans of Ozthose who remembered their childhoodsand those who pretended that they had never even heard of Oz who believed that adults should put away childish things From the look on her face Mrs Koverman fell into the latter categoryHave a seat She cut off any further conversation with a vigorous clacking of her typewriter keysMaud sat feet crossed at the ankle handbag and a well worn copy of Oz balanced on her lap hoping to convey that she wasnt planning on going anywhereEvery now and again Mrs Koverman would stand up and rap upon the door with the brass plaue on it reading louis b mayer then enter with a piece of typed paper or a phone message Each time she emerged Maud looked at her steadily while Mrs Koverman avoided her gaze Once in a while Maud glanced at her wristwatch Soon one thirty had come and goneThe two women might have remained in their silent test of wills had not a large commotion ensued from the elevator baya loud thwack and a cry of Bugger all filled the room Maud was astonished to see a giant young manwell over six feet tallrubbing his head then bending over to gather up a scattered pile of papers from the floor Most surprising a brand new edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz had skidded across the floor landing almost at Mauds feetShe picked it up and approached the man I believe youve lost this Right he said with a British accent Just give me a minute Im a bit dazedMaud watched with alarm as the lanky man swayed like a tall pine on a windy day But after a moment he straightened his tie took the book from Maud and held out his other hand in greeting Noel Langley ScenaristHe noted the faded clothbound volume Maud held in her other hand Doing a little homework I seeHomework Let me guess Are you playing Auntie Em Auntie Em Maud was startled She peered at the man confused But how could you Clara Blandick Langley continued not seeming to notice Mauds reaction I presumeOh the actress Maud said gathering her wits You mean the actress Yes the actress Langley said louder this time Maud blinked in irritationNot at all Im not an actress Maud said firmly Im Maud BaumMrs L Frank Langley returned a blank lookMy late husband FrankL Frank Baum Author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Maud held up her book and pointed to the authors nameStill looking puzzled he scrutinized Maud as if seeing her for the first time She twisted the emerald she wore on her fourth finger and smoothed the folds of her simple floral dress aware how out of place she must appear to this elegant young manBut the book was written before I was born Langley said slowly as if trying to solve a difficult math problem in his head Surely his wife must be As he spoke his head cocked progressivelyto one side until with his long limbs and small tilted head he looked like a curious grasshopperIm seventy seven years old Maud said Not dead yet if thats what you were thinkingCertainly not of course not Langley stammered his face now beet red Its just that I imagined the book was published years ago I guess I assumedoh never mind what I assumedNot to worry Maud said soothingly The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published in Th.

CHARACTERS Finding Dorothy: A Novel

Finding Dorothy: A Novel

E turn of the centuryAh yes Langley said His blush had faded but the tips of his auricles remained pinkMust seem like ancient history to a young man like you Mauds heart sank at the thoughtLangley nodded in agreementWhich brings up a good point Maud said Its a lucky chance Ive run into you You seeBefore Maud had a chance to finish the elevator doors slid open again and a brown haired man seemed to blow out as if pushed by a strong windLangley he cried outHello the tall fellow answered Look what we have here if you can believe it Its Mrs L Frank Baum Mrs Baum this is Mervyn LeRoy Hes the producerLeRoy skidded to a stop in front of the pair and looked Maud up and downWell Ill be he said appearing mystified at her presenceLeRoys gaze fell upon the faded green book Maud clasped in her bony spotted handsWell now look at this LeRoy reached out This looks like the exact same edition I had when I was a kid sat on the shelf right by my bed Loved that book so muchMaud sensed an opening Would you like to take a look She held out the worn volume the color leached from its cover and its edges frayed Before cracking it open LeRoy inhaled its papery scent then reverently brushed the palm of his hand across the stamped green cloth Flipping it open he perused the color illustrations one by one a half smile on his lipsI grew up reading this book Loved it Its hard to explain I almost felt as if the characters were part of my own familyI am glad to hear you feel that way So youll understand why its so important to stick to the authors visionLeRoy tore his eyes away from the volume in his hands and returned his gaze to Maud whose corporeal presence he still seemed to find puzzling The authors vision Tell the truth I never gave a moments thought to the person who wrote it Oz always seemed so timelesseternal really Funny to think it started out as the idea of an unknown person with a pen in his handA breathtaking read that will transport you over the rainbow and into the heart of one of Americas most enduring fairy tales and the hardscrabble life that inspired it Gripping fascinating Finding Dorothy is a novel for anyone who ever stared in awe as Oz came to life onscreen and wondered what other secrets lay hidden behind the curtain A dream of a book youll want to savor and share Lisa Wingate author of Before We Were YoursIn some ways reminiscent of Jerry Stahls excellent I FattyLetts Finding Dorothycombines exhaustive research with expansive imagination blending history and speculation intoa seamless tapestry Its a testament to Letts skill that she can capture on the page without benefit of audio that same emotion we have all felt sometime over the last years while listening to Over the Rainbow BookPage starred review Old Hollywood is its own kind of Oz in Finding Dorothy complete with false dazzle and complex combinations of threat and allure But what really satisfies here is the unlikely friendship between L Frank Baums unsinkable widow Maud and the young Judy Garland on the vulnerable cusp of fame Its an alliance that seems touched with magic and serendipity and something eventransformative true understanding between womenPaula McLain author of Love and Ruin Beautifully researched and written Finding Dorothy pulls back the curtain on a fascinating relationship behind the making of The Wizard of OzMartha Hall Kelly author of Lilac Girls A woman with a heart a brain courage to spare and a girls sense of wonderthis is the heroine of Elizabeth Lettss sparkling touching novelMaud Baum is the daughter of a suffragette and the wife of a dreamer but she is also a force to be reckoned with in her own rightMelanie Benjamin author of The Swans of Fifth AvenueReaders looking for an inspiring true story will be delighted Letts again crafts a tale of fortitude and triumph over adversity Fans of the Oz novels or film will be enchantedThis isa great fit for readers of Christina Baker Kline and Lisa Wingate and will surely be a popular choice for book clubs A well researched novelization Library JournalMaud Gage Baum is a fascinating character and this isa poignant absorbing tale of the life and love story that led to the creation of a beloved classic Booklist Historical fiction fans will rejoice With meticulous research and vivid detail Elizabeth Letts explores both Mauds life story leading up to the writing of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and her determination to see that the film remained true to her husbands vision as it was made in s Hollywood Letts takes readers on an unflinching journey between hardship and hope with a catch your breath endingPam Jenoff author of The Orphans Tale More than just a behind the scenes pee at the making of The Wizard of Oz Finding Dorothy is a heartfelt look at the origins of a beloved story told through the eyes of the woman closest to its creator From capturing the pioneering spirit of a family settling out West to the fight for womens suffrage and the vulnerability of a young Judy Garland on the threshold of stardom Finding Dorothy is filled with pitch perfect wondermentRene Rosen author of White Collar Girl..


Chapter HollywoodOctober It was a city within a city a textile mill to weave the gossamer of fantasy on looping looms of celluloid From the flashing needles of the tailors in the costume shop to the zoo where the animals were trained Finding Dorothy PDF or from the matzo ball soup in the commissary to the blinding white offices in the brand new Thalberg executive building an army of peoplecomposers and musicians technicians and tinsmiths directors and actorsspun thread into gold Once upon a time dreams were made by hand but now they were mass produced These forty four acres were their assembly lineOutside its walls the brown hills tidy neighborhoods and rusting oil derricks of Culver City gave no hint of magic but within the gates of M G MMetro as it was knownyou stepped inside an enchanted kingdom A private trolley line that cut through the center of the studios back lots could whisk you across the world or back in timefrom old New Yorks Brownstone Row to the Wild Wests Billy the Kid Street to Renaissance Italys Verona Suarewith no stops in the outside world In than three thousand people labored inside these walls Just as the Emerald City was the center of the Land of Oz so the M G M Studios were the beating heart of that mythic place called HollywoodMaud Baum had been waiting on foot outside the massive front gates of Metro Goldwyn Mayer for almost an hour just another face among the throngs of visitors hoping for a chance to get inside Every now and again a gleaming automobile pulled up to the gate Each time the studios guard snapped to attention and offered a crisp salute Whenever this happened the fans waiting around the entrance hoping to catch a peek of the stars would leap forward thrusting bits of papers through the cars windows As Maud observed this spectacle she couldnt help but feel a pang for Frank his doomed Oz Manufacturing Film Company a single giant barnlike structure had been just a short distance away from the current location of this thriving metropolis of Metro In when Frank had opened his company Hollywood had been a sleepy backwater of orange trees and bungalows and filmmaking a crazy venture seen as a passing fad If only he could have lived to see what a movie studio would become over the course of the next two decades another White City a giant theater stage This fantastical place was the concrete manifestation of what Frank had been able to imagine long before it had come to passAt last it was Mauds turn As the guard scribbled her a pass her stomach fluttered Inside her purse she had the small cutout torn from Variety She didnt need to look at it she had long since memorized its few words oz sold to louis b mayer at m g m As the last living link to the inspiration behind the story she was determined to offer her services as a consultant But getting access to the studio had not been easy For months they had rebuffed her calls only reluctantly setting up a meeting with the studio head Louis B Mayer because the receptionist was no doubt fed up with answering her daily ueries Today she would make her caseIf Mauds suffragist mother Matilda had taught her anything it was that if you wanted something you needed to ask for itor demand it if necessary True Maud would far rather be reading a book at Ozcot her Hollywood home but she had made a promise to her late husband that she aimed to keepThe guard pushed her day pass through the glass fronted window and gave her a nodWhere is the Thalberg Building she askedHe jerked his head to the lefta gesture that could have pointed anywhere White Lung Just head that way You cant miss itWhite Lung What a peculiar name for a building Maud was about to ask him why but as shed aged shed learned to keep her thoughts to herself so as not to come off as a doddering old foolInside the studios gates the paths and private roads were crowded with people and vehicles A knot of actors hurried by costumed in elaborate ball gowns paste jewels and powdered wigs followed by painters in splattered coveralls a man humming a tune to himself and another fellow likely a writer with a furrowed brow and a pencil tucked behind his ear Maud leapt out of the way as three girls whizzed past on bicycles Having spent much time in the theater she was reminded of the bustle of backstage but thisthis was such an immense scaleall the worlds a stage Frank had loved to uote Shakespeare Here it seemed to be literally trueThe Art Moderne Thalberg Building was dazzlingly white its fresh exterior paint as clean as snow A few scaffoldings still crept up one sidethe building was clearly brand new When she stepped inside the polished lobby she felt a chill prickle her skin and heard an odd wheezing sound like an old man breathing She pulled her cardigan tighter around her shoulders as the receptionist gave her a sympathetic lookIts the air conditioner she said Like a heater for coolMaud suppressed a smile Such a Frank like idea A heater for cool He was always saying backward things like thatMay I help you I am here to see Mr Louis B Mayer Maud made sure that her voice conveyed no hint of hesita.

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