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The Girls in the Picture

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  6,430 ratings  ·  1,203 reviews
An intimate portrait of the close friendship and powerful creative partnership between two of Hollywood’s earliest female superstars: Frances Marion and Mary Pickford. An enchanting new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator’s Wife.

Hollywood, 1914. Frances Marion, a young writer desperate for a break, meets “America’s
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published January 16th 2018 by Delacorte Press (first published January 2018)
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Joan yes - we are reading it as a group = part of a collection in the book club area of our library
yes - we are reading it as a group = part of a collection in the book club area of our library

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Average rating 3.63  · 
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
5 epic, huggable, flickering stars to The Girls in the Picture ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Before reading this book, what I knew about Mary Pickford, America’s Sweetheart, was vague. I knew even less about her best friend and prolific screenwriter, Frances Marion. As I read this, I kept thinking this book is epic. This book was engrossing, unputdownable, thorough, perfectly written. I can’t imagine two more fully-developed and well-crafted “characters” than Mary and Frances, and it’s a bonus that they were b
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin is a 2018 Delacorte Press publication.

I love tales from old Hollywood- the silent pictures, the scandals, the innovations and vision that are felt throughout the industry to this day.

This story zeroes in on the tumultuous friendship between movie star Mary Pickford and screenwriter, Frances Marion.

I loved the way Benjamin gives Frances such real and believable voice as she regales us with the beginning days of ‘flickers’ and the way her friendship
Theresa Alan
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a novel I will be recommending to everyone. Historical fiction, The Girls in the Picture is a book for everyone who has an interest in the evolution of film and of women trying to be taken seriously in the workplace.

Frances doesn't want to be an actress, but she wants to be a part of the movies, and she finds her niche as a "scenarist" during the era of silent films, when the "flickers" were considered a low form of entertainment and certainly not an art form. She becomes great friends w
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
You can read this and all of my reviews at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine.

I really enjoyed The Swans of Fifth Avenue and started getting excited about The Girls in the Picture as soon as it was announced. In fact, it was the book I was most excited about receiving at Book Expo 2017. Melanie Benjamin was as much a delight in person, at her in-booth signing, as she is on her social media accounts. She even allowed me to blather on about her kitchen reno (it looks fantastic) and her cats at some length without
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars rounded up to 4

I loved reading about these two trailblazing women in the filming industry: Mary Pickford, "America's Sweetheart", and Frances Marion, a renowned female screenwriter, known as a scenarist in the early days, and the first to win two Academy Awards. The early days of Hollywood and the transition from silent films, the "flickers", to "talkies" was riveting reading. What these two women accomplished over a century ago in a male-dominated world was nothing short of amazing. T
Cindy Burnett
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
I am conflicted about The Girls in the Picture. I am a huge fan of Mary Pickford and learned significantly more about her in The Girls in the Picture, and I knew virtually nothing about Frances Marion so I enjoyed the details about her. However, I felt the book was overly long and drawn out, and as I was reading I wished it had ended earlier in the women’s lives. In the Author’s Note, Benjamin explains how much she glosses over in the later years and that left me with the same feeling again - I ...more
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I love Old Hollywood movies, historical fiction and this author’s last book, The Swans of Fifth Avenue, was an enchanting five-star read for me. Maybe all of that set my expectations too high, but while I loved learning about Mary Pickford, France Marion and the beginnings of the movie industry, it was in the telling of the story that this book didn’t quite work as well as her previous. There was an unevenness to the narrative mostly due to the choice of alternating perspectives, one much strong ...more
Katie B
3.5 stars

I was excited to finally read this one because I liked, The Aviator's Wife by the author and I love reading about Old Hollywood. This historical fiction book explores the lives of actress Mary Pickford and screenwriter Frances Marion.

I knew a little bit about Mary Pickford prior to reading but I hadn't heard of Frances Marion until picking up the book. The story follows their friendship thru the years with much of the focus while they were working during the silent film era. Both women
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
5 fantastical stars

I am in awe and quite sleepless as well over this book. In a word it was awesome. Ms Benjamin has created for us a world that was early Hollywood. It was a world where silent movies were becoming the rage and where woman were taking the reins or at least trying to in a society dominated and controlled by males.

We are introduced to two powerful women of the past, Mary Pickford and Frances Marion, who become great friends and travel the road to fame and stardom. The year is 191
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
The Girls in the Picture is a book that I knew that I wanted to read as soon as I saw it. I love reading historical fiction about movie stars, or stories that in one way or another takes place in Hollywood. Especially around the Silent movie era and when the talkies came. I had only previously read Reckless Hearts: A Story of Slim Hawks and Ernest Hemingway by Melanie Benjamin, but she has written several books that I want to read.

What really struck me about this book was, despite, my deep love
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
An enlightening portrait of two creative and powerful women who helped shape Hollywood.

THE GIRLS IN THE PICTURE is a look behind the scenes at the earliest days of Hollywood and the friendship between two legends. Mary Pickford known as the girl with the curls, was America’s first sweetheart. She was a international superstar, who was mobbed upon her first time arrival in London. She was the first actor to have her name put on a movie marque and she was the first to win an Academy Award
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It seems strange and very intriguing to me that silent movies and the beginnings of the film industry in Los Angeles happened more than 100 years ago. It doesn't seem possible that we are a century away from the old black and white "flickers.'' This book is about the friendship between Actress Mary Pickford, who was touted as America's Sweetheart back in the early days, and Frances Marion, an early screenwriter. Both women were incredibly famous in their day and paved the way for women in the fi ...more
Jun 17, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

About a century ago, actress Mary Pickford and scenarist Frances Marion were best friends as their young careers were just taking off. Together, they forged new paths for women in their industry, with Mary forming United Artist's studio with husband Douglas Fairbanks, and Frances being the best and highest paid female screenwriter. With today's spotlight on Hollywood's so-called casting couch, this story was quite timely in detailing how that term started, when these two women were in t
DNF @ 23%

As Kenny Rogers famously sang, "You got to know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away. Know when to run."

This book seemed like something that should have been right up by alley (two strong women making their way in the early days of Hollywood -- sign me up!), but it was just such a slog to read. It felt like I had been reading for at least 30 mins, but I'd only covered a page or two. The siren song of my mountainous TBR is calling, so I'm calling it quits on th
Karen R
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was drawn to this story based on the summary and the fact that I enjoyed two of Melanie Benjamin’s previous books. The Girls in the Picture is another good story. Right off the bat, Benjamin’s stage-setting for the future partnership between “America’s Sweetheart” Mary Pickford and renowned Academy Award winning screenwriter Frances Marion hooked me.

Despite early rejection of powerful men in the movie industry, the success of Marion and Pickford’s public screening of Poor Little Rich Girl put
Martie Nees Record
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: January 16, 2018
Publisher: Random House

Melanie Benjamin is a favorite author of mine. She writes in a distinctive genre that I favor known as Historical Autobiographical Fiction. It is reading historical fiction as if you are reading the memoir of the real-life main character. To work, this genre needs to be as well-researched as it is well-written. Also, the reader needs to remember that no matter how knowledgeable, the author is not privy to the actual thoug
Joy D
This book is the story of the ups and downs of a deep friendship between two professional women, Mary Pickford and Frances Marion, over the time period 1914 – 1969, as they work together in the silent “flickers,” and later in the “talkies.” Mary Pickford, of course, it the well-known actress that played mostly girlish roles and became “America’s Sweetheart.” Frances Marion is a writer-director that eventually won Academy Awards for her work as a “scenarist” (today known as a screenwriter). These ...more
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was so disappointed in this book.

I loved Melanie Benjamin's first two novels, "Alice I have Been" and The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb" but was not as in love with "The Aviator's Wife" and disliked "Swans." Now there's "The Girls in the Picture" which is a crushing disappointment.

Let's start with the cover, which shows two women in 1930s gowns looking vaguely like Norma Shearer and Kay Francis. Since neither of those women are part of the story and it does not take place in the 1930s, what'
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Women are back in the news to regain their place among men in what we always think is "a man's world." Back in 1910 through 1920 two smart women made their imprint in the growing stages of Hollywood in that critical transition from silent era to "talkies." Even many big name stars fell by the side of the road during this major event.
Mary Pickford started out as that little girl with the golden curls, but what no one knew at the time was that underneath all that innocence was a tough, competitive
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Engrossing story of Mary Pickford and Frances Marion, two pioneers in the movie industry, beginning in 1914. Mary Pickford starred in "flickers" (silent movies) and was known as America's sweetheart. Frances Marion became a famous screenwriter - one of the first females in the industry. The two women became very close friends, and this is the story of their friendship. It is also the story of the very beginnings of the movies and Hollywood, and famous film stars.

Mary and Frances are very close
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoy historical fiction books but had never read anything about the early days of the movies. This book covered the careers of Mary Pickford, one of America's first movie stars and Frances Marion, an early screenwriter. The author had done significant research into the lives and careers of both of these women and the story was both educational and great fun to read. Mary and Frances became great friends and stuck with each other through good and bad. They were actually very liberated for the ...more
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this story of the friendship between Frances Marion and Mary Pickford. The story covers the hardships women faced in the movie business, including the "casting couch" and the decision to have children, while showing two women whose friendship went through many phases and trials.
The author's afterword in which she tells which parts of her story are true, which conjecture taken from the history of these women and listing some biographies/autobiographies of these women that would be of i
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: release-2018
WOW. Mary Pickford and Frances Marion. This novel is about Mary’s life, her one true love Douglas Fairbanks and her successes and losses personally and in pictures, along with Academy Award writer and friend Frances Marion’s highly successful life. Their friendship is about the sacrifices and compromises they made in order to succeed. A very interesting and powerful story!👏🏻👏🏻 Highly recommend 👍🏻
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Stories about Hollywood's beginnings are like catnip to me and this story is about two powerful women with a strong friendship. Mary Pickford the silent film actress and Marion Frances a screenwriter or scenarist as they were called then dream and work together and along the way become string friends and achieve lots. Most people will recognize Mary's name but Marion is based on a real person as well. I was surprised at how closely Benjamin sticks to the facts while necessarily imagining the wom ...more
BAM Endlessly Booked
Netgalley #35

Many thanks go to Melanie Benjamin, Random House, and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

I'm a fan of Melanie Benjamin. I have all of her books. I like how they are about more obscure historical figures.
This one is about the relationship that developed between silent film star Mary Pickford and screenwriter Frances Marion. It follows Pickford from childhood living out of trunks until death and includes the beginning of the " poor little rich
Kristy K
Dec 05, 2017 rated it liked it
“A story that began with two women—once girls. One golden-haired, one with raven locks. Standing next to each other on a porch, gazing up at a night full of stars.”

I fell in love with Benjamin’s work when I read The Aviator's Wife a few years ago. She does a great job at taking a perhaps forgotten woman (or women) and bringing them back to life. I had never heard of Frances Marion or Mary Pickford prior to reading this, but now I feel a connection to these two trailblazers of the film industry.
I'm not going to spend a lot of time writing this review. I really and truly disliked this novel. I had a tough time even getting through it and as I try to figure out exactly why I have to believe that I just didn't like any of the characters. They were "blah." The story was the same.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House-Ballentine for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Asheley T.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, 2019-read
When I started this book, I had never heard of Mary Pickford or Frances Marion so when the synopsis described them as women who "shaped the movies" I was curious.

The story begins in 1914. Fran has moved to LA to pursue the arts. She meets actress Mary Pickford and the two hit it off easily. Mary has had a very successful career thus far working with "flickers" which are short, silent moving pictures-sort of a precursor to silent films as most of us know them. Even though Fran loves the rapidly
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
I am so, so glad I picked up this historical fiction. At first, I couldn’t get into the story while reading it physically— due to a book slump I was in— so I began listening to it on audiobook and absolutely fell in love with the novel.

The narrator effortlessly brought this story to life and I was immensely invested in Frances and Mary’s lives, how their worlds intersected, their experience being women in Hollywood and the roadblocks they faced as two of the most successful pioneers of film, an
Dawn Michelle

This was a very good read and I am grateful to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ARC.

Going into this book, I knew very little about Mary Pickford and absolutely nothing about Frances Marion. I had had a class in high school on film and its origins and how it advanced over the years, so I have seen Mary Pickford on the "big screen" and knew of some of the movies they talked about [especially "Poor Little Rich Girl"], but her backstory I was clueless about. And, I had no idea that so man
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Melanie Benjamin is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE and THE AVIATOR'S WIFE, as well as the national bestseller ALICE I HAVE BEEN, and THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MRS. TOM THUMB and MISTRESS OF THE RITZ. Her most recent novel is the new historical fiction, THE CHILDREN'S BLIZZARD, about the real-life devastating blizzard that swept the Great Plains in 1888, up ...more

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