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Finding Dorothy

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  183 ratings  ·  124 reviews
A richly imagined novel that tells the story behind The Wonderful Wizard of Oz , the book that inspired the iconic film, through the eyes of author L. Frank Baum's intrepid wife, Maud--from the family's hardscrabble days in South Dakota to the Hollywood film set where she first meets Judy Garland.

Maud Gage Baum, widow of the author of the book The Wonderful Wizard of
Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: February 12th 2019 by Ballantine Books
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Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

When Maud Gage began her first year of Cornell University, her focus was only on higher learning, and certainly not the boys of Cornell. Her roommate is Josie, Josie Baum, and it is through Josie that Maud meets the man that was foretold by a somewhat silly group of young women, Josie’s brother – L. Frank Baum. A man who, one day, will write one of those beloved childhood books The Wizard of Oz.

This is the story that is behind the making of both the book, and the now classic film, a film that
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a free e-copy of Finding Dorothy: A Novel by Elizabeth Letts from NetGalley for my honest review.

Who didn't love The Wonderful Wizard of Oz? A fascinating and adventurous classic MGM movie starring Judy Garland. Now years later,Elizabeth Letts introduces us to the author (L. Frank Baum) behind the book and movie. We also get to learn about his wife, (Maud). This story is told through Maud's voice. It is a story of her life.

Maud Baum, f/k/a Maud Gage, was the daughter of a shopkeeper,
Renee Rosen
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full review coming but in the meantime, add this to your shelf! It's just amazing!!!! Fans of The Wizard of Oz will be blown away!
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Quite an entertaining, charming book indeed. Recommended. Complete review to be posted closer to the publication date of 2/12/2019.
Cindy Burnett
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Finding Dorothy is an entertaining read that reimagines the creation of the book The Wizard of Oz and subsequently the filming of the movie. By the time the movie was being made in 1938, L. Frank Baum had passed away, and his wife Maud Gage Baum wanted to ensure that the director and others involved in the film stayed true to the book. She offered her services and spent some time on the set. The story is a dual timeline tale, alternating between Maud’s younger years and the period durin
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novel
I received an ARC copy of this book. I felt very lucky to get a chance to read this well done book. Although it is a novel, it is based on real life people and events. Maude Baum was married to L.Frank Baum the writer of "The Wizard of Oz" this book follows Maude from her childhood, college, her marriage to Frank Baum and the years they spent together up until Frank Baum wrote the famous series of Wizard of Oz Books. The other part of the novel takes place in 1939 and the filming of The Wizard o ...more
Debi Hawkes
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Wizard of Oz holds a treasured place, not only in my memories, but most of Americas. Who can resist a historical fiction of the back story of the movie, book and the author L Frank Baum and his family? Not me!

I so enjoyed this novel, thank you author Elizabeth Letts for the experience, and knowledge you have shared.

I received an ARC from Netgalley and publisher Ballantine Books in exchange for my honest opinion
Susan Johnson
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I will probably be alone on this rating because it's a perfectly sweet and interesting story. It tells the tale of Maud Gage Baum, the wife of author of "The Wizard of Oz", L. Frank Baum. It alternates between her life growing up, marrying, having kids, etc. and the filming of the movie based on her husband's book when she is 78. She was the daughter of a famed suffragette who called Susan B. Anthony, Auntie. She attended college before marrying Baum, a struggling theater company owner and actor ...more
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
FINDING DOROTHY is one of the most itteresting pieces of historical fiction that I have read in years. Centered around MGMs's filming of The Wizard of Oz, the book's heart is the story of Maud and Frank Baum . As the creator of Oz, Baum built the story of the Emerald City from his dreams for a more magical life---a counter-balance to the constant struggle he and his wife faced in the late 1900's and early 20th Century.

Maud Baum was the daughter of an early woman's rights pioneer. Reared in a hou
Karen Kay
I received this from in exchange for a review.

Maud Gage Baum, widow of the author of the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, met Judy Garland, the young actress playing the role of Dorothy on the set of The Wizard of Oz in 1939. With flash backs to Maud's youth and subsequent marriage to Frank, we discover his inspiration for The Wizard of Oz.

An okay story.
Darlene Ferland
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This Historical novel took my breath away! Elizabeth Letts has given us a glimpse into the world behind The Wizard of Oz by learning about Maud Gage Baum. Maud was a little girl living with her older sister, her dad, who died while Maud was a child, and her famous Suffragette mother, Matilda
Gage. Her life was comfortable. She was accepted to Cornell University. It was there that she met Frank Baum. He was her roommate's cousin. . . From the moment in time, her life would change. She would becom
3.5 stars. Hollywood 1939. When seventy-eight year old Maud Gage Baum, the wife of the late L. Frank Baum, first stepped onto the movie set of The Wizard of Oz, she was awestruck. Soon after, she met sixteen year old Judy Garland and instantly a bond was formed. The narration travels between two points in Maud's life, meeting Frank, how the story came to be and ending with the beautiful and poetic cinematic homage to her late husband. This well crafted bit of historic fiction is a wonderful book ...more
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about a woman behind the man behind the wizard behind the curtain behind one of the greatest stories ever told and one of the greatest movies of all time. Which is to say…this is a book about Maud Baum, the wife of L. Frank Baum, the man who gave us Oz and all adventures therein, forever commemorated in print and cinema. Who doesn’t love the Wizard of Oz? But, like the author of this book herself, I admit to not knowing much about Baums prior to reading this. Well, this book chang ...more
Lois R. Gross
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
ith all that's going on in the world, I have picked up and put down more books than I can count. This one was the exception, I caught from page one. Of course, the fact that the Land of OZ is a special interest of mine has a lot to do with it, but I would recommend this book even if I had never heard of Wonderland.

If this has not been purchased as a movie property, someone is missing the boat. I think I want Dianne Wiest as Maud Baum, the wife of the writer of OZ, L. Frank Baum. I'm not sure ab
Stephanie Crowe
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts
Elizabeth is known for her wonderful horse stories and this new historical fiction is a brand new endeavor. I’ll admit I wasn’t sure how I would feel about a totally different direction and was even hesitant to begin. Well, not to fear! A good storyteller can weave many kinds of tales and Ms. Lett’s is a master. I was totally immersed in this wonderful story of Maude Blaum, the wife of Frank Baum who wrote The Wizard of Oz. There are some new things to learn and
Kimberly Mussell
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was so excited when my “wish” was granted on NetGalley and was able to receive a copy of Finding Dorothy. Who doesn’t love The Wonderful Wizard Oz? I loved this story and how it was written with true stories and actual events. Putting facts alongside the original story was a great learning experience. Finishing this story put me in a moment of ahhs. 5 stars for Maud, Frank, Matilda and the entire cast of characters.
Carol Kean
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love Elizabeth Letts for her love of history and her offbeat choices: with "The Perfect Horse," she takes us into the point of view of a relatively obscure soldier, equestrian, and dressage champion, Alois Podhajsky, and with exhaustively researched historical details, she brings to life extraordinary people who did great things--unsung heroes, most of them (although names like General Patton are familiar for other reasons)--as they launched Operation Rescue to save the fabulous horses of Worl ...more
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When The Wizard of Oz was being made into a movie, L. Frank Baum's widow Maud took it upon herself to make sure that the movie honored her late husband's vision in the book - that the "heart" of Oz was present in the movie. I think most of us who have grown up watching the movie would agree that her efforts were successful. In writing about Maud Baum, Elizabeth Letts allows us to find the magic of Oz anew.

In writing about Frank and Maud's life together, Letts let's us see the magic that they, pa
Pamela Sewell
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
Goodreads Giveaway. Although a lifelong Oz fan, I knew nothing of the creator or the wife who anchored him. Maud Gage was the youngest daughter of Matilda Gage, a sufferate who wrote "The Declaration of Women's Rights" and presented it to the Senate. The tomboy grew up under the wings of "aunties" Susan B, Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton. One of the first female coeds at Cornell, she left short of matriculating to wed thespian L. Frank Braun. It was a good union and she was a stabilizer for her wh ...more
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You couldn't make this stuff up. Author Elizabeth Letts say a photo of Judy Garland on the set of "The Wizard of Oz" with Maud Baum, the widow of Oz author L. Frank Baum. What was that about? she must have wondered, and the result is a fascinating novel that readers will love.

Maud Gage was born during the Civil War and raised by her progressive family to value education for women and be headstrong. Her parents--her mother was the suffragist Matilda Joslyn Gage--sent her to a boy's school and the
Sharyn Berg
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is Maud’s story, the woman behind the wiz behind the Wizard of Oz! After her husband, Frank L. Baum, passed away, it was Maud’s goal to see that the Wizard of Oz was brought to the big screen in a way that would honor his vision. Hollywood was in its infancy at the time and the star of the movie, Judy Garland, wasn’t much older. This book switches back and forth between Maud’s early life and the time after Frank’s death when his book was being readied for the big screen. A wonderful blend o ...more
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever wondered how L. Frank Baum created his "Wonderful Wizard of Oz" books? Well wonder no more...just read "Finding Dorothy" by Elizabeth Letts. Well researched and superbly written, "Finding Dorothy" is so interesting, the reader will have great difficulty putting it down...I know I did. Thanks to the goodreads giveaway program for providing me with an ARC of this book. I've found another super author whom I hope to read more of in the future.
Courtney Whisenant
This book is an absolute gem! It's probably the best book I've read this year. If you are a fan of the Wizard of Oz, prepare to be blown away!
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
The Wizard of Oz is such a classic movie that anyone who has seen the original version starring Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale has always wondered what it was like behind the scenes filming such an iconic film. Finding Dorothy focuses on Letts's findings of Maud Baum the widow of L. Frank Baum the author of the book and the original story. Having read books inspired by movies such as P.L. Travers' Mary Poppins and seeing movies like Saving Mr. Banks and how she was so passionate about Mary Poppins ...more
Catherine Faulkenburg
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read this book! I am a lifelong fan of The Wizard of Oz movie, and know all kinds of little bits of trivia about the filming and the movie itself. This book just adds to the wonder and fun that the movie promotes. The author writes of Maud and her husband with love and rich details. This is a terrific book and I really enjoyed it. I highly recommend reading this.. historical fiction fans will enjoy as well as fans of the Wizard of Oz. Well done!
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to receive a pre-publication copy of this title as an “Early Reviewer” from Library Thing. I discovered the title during perusal of the September 2018 offerings to Early Reviewers by LibraryThing. The blurb captured my interest as I have a girlfriend that loves all things “Oz” and I too have many happy memories of watching the movie “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” during my childhood to young adulthood.

It was intriguing to think of reading the story of Frank L. Baum’s widow Maud
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It held my interest through the entire book. I found myself remembering the first time I saw the movie on television. On a black and white television, it was years later that a I learned it was in color. I was 10 years old when I made that first trip to Oz.
The author brings the characters to life, shows their warmth and personalities.
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have always loved the film The Wizard of Oz. This book is based on the lives of the lives of the author and his wife. FINDING DOROTHY gave new meanings to the film. This novel is a must read for every fan of Oz! I highly recommend this book.
Megan Dennehy
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a delightful read. Being from Upstate NY, I was intrigued to read a story set in many towns and cities I am familiar with. The author did a wonderful job weaving the Baum’s life with that of the famous film production. I only wish this was 100% factual since I enjoyed reading it so much.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Any fan of Oz will truly enjoy it. I loved the characters and wanted more. I must now go watch Oz and revisit some old friends.
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ELIZABETH LETTS is an award winning and bestselling author of both fiction and non-fiction. The Perfect Horse was the winner of the 2017 PEN USA Award for Research Non-fiction and a #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller. The Eighty-Dollar Champion was a #1 New York Times bestseller and winner of the 2012 Daniel P Lenehan Award for Media Excellence from the United States Equestrian Foundation. She is a ...more