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Feb 02, 2020cknightkc rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
You don’t need the Scarecrow’s brain, the Tin Man’s heart, or the Cowardly Lion’s courage to know that FINDING DOROTHY is a special book. It takes the reader on a magical, entertaining journey that explores the story behind the classic book and movie, THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF OZ. As seen through the eyes of author L. Frank Baum’s fearless wife, Maud, and told in 2 alternating timelines, FINDING DOROTHY explores Maud’s early life with her family and husband (1871-1898) and later her relationship with the young actress, Judy Garland (1938-39). Early on, the reader learns that Maud was brought up ahead of her time in terms of her education and views on women’s rights. She is a compelling protagonist who, over the course of the novel, shows herself to be a strong-willed daughter, devoted wife, loving mother, supportive sister, and protective friend. The majority of the book follows the ever-practical Maud and her dreamer husband Frank from early love and marriage, through periods of hardship and tragedy, to ultimate success. Their mutual bond and respect for each other throughout their marriage is especially touching. Author Elizabeth Letts does a remarkable job weaving fact and fiction within the storyline, including the real-life people, places, and events that may have inspired Baum to create his WORLD OF OZ. Readers like me, who never read Baum’s beloved book, will be surprised to learn that some details were changed for the movie, such as the color of Dorothy’s shoes. I highly recommend reading the Afterword at the end of the book for further information and explanation. FINDING DOROTHY is a terrific, heartwarming story that fans of historic fiction and old Hollywood will enjoy.