Friday, May 23, 2014


by William J Mann:
by William J Mann: I bought this book from a yard sale a few years back thinking it was a biography of an old-time movie star. Turns out, it is…but it’s also a fiction novel. Strange, right? It turns out that in the early days of movies, back in the silent years, Florence Lawrence (who started out as ‘Baby Flo, the Child Wonder Whistler’ in vaudeville theater) was the first movie star who was actually credited on screen! Then in 1938 she committed suicide…

Or faked it, which is where the novel portion of the book picks up. So Flo, now 107 is re-discovered and the story takes off from there. Fascinatingly written, scenes of young Flo are interspersed with scenes of current times until the story comes to a satisfying conclusion (except perhaps for the Cherry Sisters).
Oddly, since the author obviously researched his material in great detail, at one point Florence buys a 1957 Mustang (which wasn’t made until 1964). But other than that minor point, the book reads true to life and the characters all seem authentic.
One of those gems you unexpectedly find that makes reading so enjoyable, pick up a copy if you enjoy movie history and biographies.

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