The Girls in the Picture|Melanie Benjamin
The Girls in the Picture
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator's Wife, a "rich exploration of two Hollywood friends who shaped the movies" (USA Today)--screenwriter Frances Marion and superstar Mary Pickford

"Full of Old Hollywood glamour and true details about the pair's historic careers . . . a captivating ode to a legendary bond."--Real Simple


It is 1914, and twenty-five-year-old Frances Marion has left her (second) husband and her Northern California home for the lure of Los Angeles, where she is determined to live independently as an artist. But the word on everyone's lips these days is "flickers"--the silent moving pictures enthralling theatergoers. Turn any corner in this burgeoning town and you'll find made-up actors running around, as a movie camera captures it all.

In this fledgling industry, Frances finds her true calling: writing stories for this wondrous new medium. She also makes the acquaintance of actress Mary Pickford, whose signature golden curls and lively spirit have earned her the title "America's Sweetheart." The two ambitious young women hit it off instantly, their kinship fomented by their mutual fever to create, to move audiences to a frenzy, to start a revolution.

But their ambitions are challenged by both the men around them and the limitations imposed on their gender--and their astronomical success could come at a price. As Mary, the world's highest paid and most beloved actress, struggles to live her life under the spotlight, she also wonders if it is possible to find love, even with the dashing actor Douglas Fairbanks. Frances, too, longs to share her life with someone. As in any good Hollywood story, dramas will play out, personalities will clash, and even the deepest friendships might be shattered.

With cameos from such notables as Charlie Chaplin, Louis B. Mayer, Rudolph Valentino, and Lillian Gish, The Girls in the Picture is, at its heart, a story of friendship and forgiveness. Melanie Benjamin brilliantly captures the dawn of a glittering new era--its myths and icons, its possibilities and potential, and its seduction and heartbreak.

"A boffo production . . . Inspiration is a rare and unexpected gift in a book filled with the fluff of Hollywood, but Benjamin provides it with The Girls in the Picture."--NPR

"Profoundly resonant, The Girls in the Picture is at its core, an empowering and fascinating tale of sisterhood."--Bryce Dallas Howard

This item is Non-Returnable


  • ISBN-13: 9781101886823
  • ISBN-10: 110188682X
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • Publish Date: January 2019
  • Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds
  • Page Count: 480

Book Clubs: February 2019

Top Pick: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
An Oprah’s Book Club pick in 2018, Tayari Jones’ electrifying fourth novel, An American Marriage, tells the story of Roy and Celestial, a newly married couple whose future looks bright. Celestial is an up-and-coming artist and Roy is a business executive, but their lives are shattered when the couple travels to Roy’s hometown in Louisiana, where he’s wrongfully accused of a terrible crime and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Jones presents a poignant portrait of the once-optimistic couple and the injustices they face as husband and wife during Roy’s incarceration. When he’s released after serving almost half his sentence, the pair struggles to resume their lives and regain a sense of normalcy. Told in part through the letters Roy and Celestial exchange while he’s imprisoned, Jones’ skillfully constructed narrative feels all too timely. It’s at once a powerful portrayal of marriage and a shrewd exploration of America’s justice system. 

The Girls in the Picture
by Melanie Benjamin

This richly atmospheric novel follows the friendship between silent-era screen queen Mary Pickford and screenwriter Frances Marion as they carve out careers in an industry dominated by men.

Jefferson’s Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America
by Catherine Kerrison

Historian Kerrison uncovers the fascinating lives of Martha and Maria, Thomas Jefferson’s daughters with Martha Wayles Skelton, as well as Harriet, his daughter with Sally Hemings who forges a life for herself outside the bonds of slavery. 

Three Daughters of Eve
by Elif Shafak

Shafak explores feminism, politics and religion in modern Istanbul through this complex portrait of Peri, an affluent wife and mother.

Heads of the Colored People
by Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Long-listed for the 2018 National Book Award, these shrewdly observed, expertly crafted stories of the African-American experience signal the arrival of an important writer.


This article was originally published in the February 2019 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.