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.
Engrossing . . . Letts expertly illuminates the true story behind the tale beloved by so many readers through history, but best of all is the wonderful depiction of Maud [Gage Baum] herself.This is a crowd-pleasing, thoroughly satisfying novel - Publishers Weekly
A captivating and insightful backstage pass into a timeless classic - Candis
Maud's life behind-the-scenes and the making of the film are uncovered in a thrilling, magical way - My Weekly
An absorbing read - Kirkus
A well-researched, Technicolor delight. I've loved The Wizard of Oz, the book and the movie, since I was a little girl, and this novel feels like an exclusive backstage pass to both - Eowyn Ivey, bestselling author of The Snow Child and To the Bright Edge of the World
A breathtaking read that will transport you over the rainbow . . . Gripping, fascinating, this is a novel for anyone who ever stared in awe as Oz came to life on screen, and wondered what other secrets lay hidden behind the curtain. A dream of a book you'll want to savor and share! - Lisa Wingate, New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours
Old Hollywood is its own kind of Oz in Elizabeth Letts' Finding Dorothy, complete with false dazzle and complex combinations of threat and allure. But what really satisfies here is the unlikely friendship between L. Frank Baum's unsinkable widow, Maud, and the young Judy Garland, on the vulnerable cusp of fame. It's an alliance that seems touched with magic and serendipity and something even more transformative, true understanding between women - Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of Love and Ruin
Beautifully researched and written, Finding Dorothy pulls back the curtain on a fascinating relationship behind the making of The Wizard of Oz - Martha Hall Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of Lilac Girls
Elizabeth Letts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion and The Perfect Horse, which won the 2017 PEN Center USA Literary Award
for research nonfiction, as well as two previous novels, Quality of Care and Family Planning. A former certified nurse-midwife, she also served in the Peace Corps in Morocco. She lives in Southern California and Northern Michigan.