Published over 100 years ago, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum is a timeless masterpiece that continues to capture the hearts of children and adults alike. It has been adapted for stage as well as screen, and the 1939 release of The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland is considered to be one of the greatest films in cinema history.
Go behind the curtain and into the life of Maud Gage Baum, the wife of L. Frank Baum. Letts seamlessly threads two timelines. The first is set in Hollywood in 1938―17 years after Frank’s death―when Maud, with wit and determination, manages to get onto the MGM Studios set with one goal: to protect the heart of her late husband’s story. Then there’s the tale of Maud’s life, from her youth to becoming one of the first women in the Ivy leagues, and of course, her romance with Frank.
Letts, who has won the PEN America Literary Award for Research in Nonfiction, uses her incredible research skills to bring us the real story of real people, set in a spectacular work of fiction based in truth.
I devoured every single word, every single moment. I was captivated, and on that very last page, I could practically hear Judy Garland singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow, the music slowly fading as I savored those last words.
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The Judy Harland movie Wizard of Oz does a great disservice to the story of Dorothy as told by Baum and understood by me - who read the series as s child. Dorothy was a young child, not a young woman. She was lost in the Hollywood version.