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Finding Dorothy
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September 2020: Other Books > Finding Dorothy - Elizabeth Letts - 4 Stars

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 Olivermagnus (lynda214) | 2223 comments The novel opens as seventy-seven year old Maud Gage Baum bulldozes her way into the MGM Studio to speak to Louis B. Mayer. She wants to make sure that the movie, and particularly the character of Dorothy, remain true to the vision of her late husband, L. Frank Baum.

The author did a wonderful job of jumping back in forth in time, telling the story of Maud Gage from the time she was a child through her marriage to author L. Frank Baum. I was surprised to find out that Maud's mother was famous suffragette and free thinker, Matilda Joslyn Gage.

Judy Garland does play a rather significant character in Finding Dorothy. The author relates how Maud met Judy on the set of the movie as she attempted to protect her husband’s most prized and beloved work. And while she was at it she tried to protect Judy too. That was an unexpected and quite poignant section of the book.

There were many incidents and experiences that happened to the Baum family that make their way into the Wizard of Oz. For example, The Scarecrow came from Maud’s childhood fear of scarecrows and the Tin Woodsman came from Frank's experience as a Castorine oil salesman.

I just read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz two weeks ago, so this was a perfect time to follow it up with this book. If you're a fan of the Wizard of Oz, you might like this novel, but even if you’re not, you might find this interesting. It's not a retelling of Oz, but more of a "behind the scenes" story coupled with an autobiography.

When I chose the book I didn't really understand the title, Finding Dorothy. Once I finished I understood it was a perfect title. I thought it was wonderfully written, as well as exploring the need to follow your heart, and to believe that dreams do come true. It was so much more interesting than I ever expected.


Ellen | 2215 comments I enjoyed this one quite a bit as well. How interesting to read about the production from behind the scenes even though the book is fiction.


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