Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures (2012)

Laura Lamont's Life in PicturesLaura Lamont's Life in Pictures by Emma Straub
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

My relationship to this book may be different from other readers. Having grown up performing in summer stock with theatrical aspirations, I was excited to read about those wonderful days. What I took away instead was the role of women in an earlier time and how that affected the arc of their lives.

Elsa Emerson got to Hollywood by marrying a fellow actor. Once there, the Studio contracted with both of them but she soared as Laura Lamont. The Studio not only changed her name but also her hair color. She did what she was told and did it well. But times change and marriages fade. To survive, Laura turned her life over each time to someone else, usually a man. Her second husband was the love of her life but even he guided and protected her.

When good times left her behind, Laura allowed herself to float along wherever life's currents took her all the while wondering how she had gotten there.

Emma Straub is a lovely writer. To me Laura's story is a cautionary tale about not being an authentic person. But somehow the story does not feel fleshed out. It feels unsatisfactory. Laura holds us at arms length the same way she interacts with those she professes to love.

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my local library.

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