Colorado Springs has been plagued by wildfires and I almost missed it because I was immersed in Hollywood during the Depression when the studio system was alive and well and running people's private and public lives. Emma Straub is the culprit and Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures is the reason.
I often begin a book with the hope that it will be good. Straub exceeded my hopes and I was reluctant to return to the real world where Laura Lamont is a literary character. I was quite simply bewitched by Straub's writing and seduced by Elsa, who becomes Laura Lamont, movie star, in a time when movie stars were always well dressed, smiling or bravely holding back the tears, and their lives were not cheap fodder for the masses.
Straub does a great job of recreating the studio system. She does an even better job of illuminating the path of glamour and fame young Elsa travels to become Laura Lamont and how that affects her life, her thoughts, and her family.
I miss the mystique that surrounded movie stars, never wanting them to be too real or too much like me. I sometimes long for Hollywood royalty with their tinsel and paste crowns on perfectly coiffed heads wearing designs by Edith Head and Adrian living in the magical world of make believe. I love fairy tales, too, and Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures shares some of that fairy tale magic, the kind that doesn't turn to rocks and dust when the last page was read. Emma Straub has penned book crack of the best kind.