Finding Dorothy

Ballantine. Feb. 2019. 368p. ISBN 9780525622109. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780525622123. F
In 1939, Maud Baum is fighting to protect the legacy and vision of her late husband L. Frank Baum during the filming of The Wizard of Oz. After making her way onto the set, she discovers the film's young star, Judy Garland, may be the one truly in need of protection. Interwoven are flashbacks telling Maud's story from her childhood as a tomboy to young adulthood with her famous suffragist mother to the often difficult life as the wife of a man more fit for the theater than daily life. This well-researched novelization weaves various moments that shaped Maud and Frank's life together and led to his writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and her desire to fight for a young actress she just met. Letts, an author of both nonfiction (The Eighty-Dollar Champion) and fiction (Quality of Care) once again crafts a tale of fortitude and triumph over adversity. Some may find it leans toward sentimentality, but readers looking for an inspiring true story will be delighted.
VERDICT Fans of the Oz novels or film will be enchanted. This is a great fit for readers of Christine Baker Kline and Lisa Wingate, and will surely be a popular choice for book clubs. [See Prepub Alert, 8/20/18.]
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