Book Review

Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts


Behind the most famous movie ever made is a tale of love, magic and one incredible woman

Hollywood, 1938: As soon as she learns that M-G-M is adapting her late husband’s masterpiece, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, for the screen, Maud Gage Baum sets about trying to visit the set.

Nineteen years after Frank’s passing, Maud is the only person who can help the producers stay true to the spirit of the book – because she’s the only one left who knows its secrets…

But the moment she hears Judy Garland rehearsing the first notes of ‘Over the Rainbow’, Maud recognizes the yearning that defined her own life story, from her rebellious youth as a suffragette’s daughter to her coming of age as one of the first women in the Ivy League, from her blossoming romance with Frank to the hardscrabble prairie years that inspired his famous work. With the young actress under pressure from the studio as well as her ambitious stage mother, Maud resolves to protect her – the way she tried so hard to protect the real Dorothy.

This richly imagined novel 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.

My Review:

Behind the most famous movie ever made is a tale of love, magic and one incredible woman.

Finding Dorothy is the fictional story behind the most loved Wizard of The Oz, about how this iconic book came to be and how the movie was made. It is told from the perspective of L. Frank Baum’s wife, Maud. An unexpected but totally fascinating protagonist.

I was immediately drawn to the premise of the story; who doesn’t love Wizard of The Oz and want to know more about it? What inspired the book and what really went on behind the scene when the movie was made? The incredibly enchanting writing has made it such a pleasing and absorbing read.

The storylines alternate between the past and present. I found the life story of Maud incredibly moving; there were so much I did not know. In this timeline we follow Maud through her life journey, what her family was like, her growing up, the struggle with Frank to make-mends and what inspired Frank to write Wizard of The Oz. These are probably my favourite parts of the story. I also find in later part of the book, the relationship between Maud and Judy Garland is unexpected but so endearing. Even though this is fictional, it is clear that the author has done immense research about it. The facts and imaginations have blended perfectly and made this such a memorable read.

After reading Finding Dorothy, I have a new understanding and appreciation to Wizard of The Oz. It makes me fall even more in love with this beloved story.

Finding Dorothy is such an enchanting story. It will make your heart ache but most of all it will make you feel good. I definitely recommend this to all of you!

Thank you so much Ella and Quercus Books for gifting me this beautiful copy to review!

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