Lately, it’s been difficult for me to find a novel which piques my interest enough to keep the pages turning. Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts is one I couldn’t put down.
I gravitate toward novels which keep the plot moving, but also have a tremendous character growth throughout the story. I find it more compelling when it’s based on factual historical accounts, which this novel utilizes.
We’ve all heard of the movie Wizard of Oz, but I wonder how many of us have read the book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, complete with original illustrations. Mr. Baum’s book was first published in 1900 and became an instant bestseller and timeless classic with more than 300,000,000 copies sold to date. In 1939, the blockbuster Technicolor movie catapulted Judy Garland’s career and iconic song, Somewhere Over The Rainbow into legendary status. The song has been remade and performed by hundreds of artists since the movie debuted. How did the story come to be? What was the true meaning behind the rainbow lyrics?
This is where Finding Dorothy completes the backstory. Told from the point of view of Maud Gage Baum, the author’s wife. Throughout the story, Maud’s life experiences with her husband and family reveal an intriguing parallel with the movement and experience of the Wizard of Oz plot. The book subtly unravels how an ordinary life is turned into magic of the imagination. It gives clues on how the story worked its way out of Mr. Baum’s fantastical mind and brought hope and color into the lives of millions of people over the years.
The book is not an Old Hollywood tell-all gossip story, although there are moments when the secrets of movie producers and directors would nowadays make infamous headlines for the #metoo movement. It also a reveals a poignant understanding into the sadness of Judy Garland. It’s not a syrupy, everything’s-hunky-dory type of story, either. To say what it IS about–without giving away too much–is a gutsy story about taking chances, trying to keep grounded in practicality while soaring in a world of dreams and chasing sparkly magic. It’s about a woman who followed her heart, raised a family, lived through financial hardships, and strived to complete the important mission to find and protect Dorothy–and honor the spirit of the story her husband created.
This book is extremely well-written, heartwarming, and inspiring. It’s full of secrets behind the story and provides another layer of delicious richness in the tale of Oz.
It’s on my book rack as a favorite. If you choose to add it to your book collection, I hope you enjoy it, also. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Finding Dorothy can be found on Amazon by clicking: HERE
RandomBits is an Amazon affiliate, which helps to support this blog. Would you please consider using the following link for your Amazon shopping? It costs you absolutely nothing, and Amazon gives us a very small amount of your purchase for advertising purposes. Please click here: Amazon.