Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub
Riverhead Press, 2012
320 pages, 4 stars
ABOUT THE BOOK: Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures follows Elsa Emerson from her eventful childhood in Wisconsin to her makeover in Hollywood. Elsa, later Laura, finds herself living in her sister’s shadow most of her life. She attempts to discover who she is through various movie/TV rolls and the life rolls of being a wife and mother while trying to make something of herself professionally. This book is rich with old Hollywood. Through Straub’s elegant depictions of settings and characters I could practically watch this book play out (in black and white, of course). Laura’s career changes dramatically over the span of the book (1930-1970s) as does her character through losing people she loves, battling addiction, and facing personal and professional failure.
Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures didn’t go as psychologically deep as I wished it would, especially surrounding Laura’s addiction. The book is written with the old mindset of not talking about mental health because it’s something shameful, which fits with the time period that the book covers. I just wished there were more.
If you are an old Hollywood lover, this is absolutely the book for you!
FASHION FRIDAY: My dear Elsa, back home the attire consisted of simple cotton dresses, but since moving to California, your wardrobe has improved dramatically. This pleated, 50’s style dress is the perfect compliment to your post-pregnancy frame, hugging your waist to give you an hourglass shape.
The snow covered plains of Wisconsin just couldn’t contain your vibrant spirit. Wrap that spirit up in this vibrant coat. This yellow pea coat attracts eyes to your person like moths to a flame.
The first part of your transformation from Elsa to Laura was a suggestion from your lover: change your hair color. Going from blonde to brunette is hard on your locks, so moisturize them with this keratin hair treatment to keep your curls bouncy not brittle.
Clutch this glittering bag with your perfectly manicured paws. It contains all the money you have left after your husband’s death. Without it, you may just be destitute. Unless you decide to get back in the Hollywood game.
These red pumps are your ticket to success. Their color boasts confidence and power, which you will need to make in this ruthless world. Pair them with these expensive and stunning earrings, which will make you the talk of the town. Isn’t that what you want?