Despite none of the group having read or seen the film of The Wizard of Oz we all enjoyed the story. It was particularly interesting to read about an American suffragette and her family as well as the hardships of life in the Midwest 1880s. A rich story intertwining the life of L Frank Baum, from the point of view of his wife and the development of a famous movie with a classic song.
Most of our group enjoyed reading this book, as we had also seen the film, 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz', and were acquainted with the documented life of Judy Garland. We found the two stranded story interesting especially where it had been based on fact.
Film buffs amongst us enjoyed the film sections. Overall, it was commentary on the innovation and energy of the early 20th century. The inventions following the Industrial Revolution opened up so many opportunities, which Elizabeth Betts distilled in this book.
Those who read it loved it - a sweet, well-written story touching lightly on many themes - poverty, gender issues, abuse etc. Lots of us checked, and found it to be very historically accurate. The characters stayed with us!
Almost everyone enjoyed this book and for some brought back memories of the movie. In places a bit too long but overall an enjoyable book.
An interesting read but a little long-winded.
Very mixed opinions about this book - some considering it not much different from a "Mills & Boon", others appreciating the themes of strong women; parents who have misguided expectations of their offspring; the gifts of creativity and imagination; the "Oz" message of hope. All felt these themes could have been more forcibly stated.
The majority of the group enjoyed this book, appreciating the historical facts of the story, especially the parts played by Matilda and Maud in the evolution of women's rights. The small print and "down home" language used were mentioned.
All members thoroughly enjoyed this book. Most, but not all of us had read or seen 'The Wizard of Oz'. The story was so poignant and absorbing that it was hard to think of it as a NOVEL - but such detailed research! Thank you so much - we are a close knit but 'disparate' group who travel considerable distances to attend. I am sure there must be books at the end of the rainbow!
Mixed reviews. Some loved it - some found it slow and hard to engage with. For those who have seen the movie or read the original Wizard of Oz books, it was great. For those who hadn't, it was still an interesting story and created some discussion around the strong women characters in the book.
Interesting history. Some not so keen on the filmmaking chapters.
Excellent. Enjoyable read. Well told.
Most enjoyed the book but had little background on The Wizard of Oz. Some found it of little or no interest due to the themes and weaker characters.
Definitely a mixed reaction from the group. The ones that enjoyed it were fans of The Wizard of Oz, and the ones that really didn't like it found it a strange read.
Most enjoyable book, didn't want to put it down. Majority of the group enjoyed the book.
Our group found the book hard to get into, but most then enjoyed it. Not popular with our younger members.
A very pleasant read. Good discussion followed.
Enlightening. We now want to watch the film again!
Intriguing and interesting read, a good look at Frank Baum's life. We were shocked at the awful life Judy Garland had, and the pressure to be 'perfect' and keep young. We thought it was of interest but felt it never really captivated you - gave you another angle on the story of The Wizard of Oz...
Our Club LOVED this book. Enjoyed learning about the author of 'The Wizard of Oz' and his background story, but even more so, of the wonderful women, both Maud and her mother. Feisty, strong women in both their marriages and families, and in women's rights issues and the struggle for women's franchise. Also, the dreadful abuse of Judy Garland as the child actor was horrifying, and an eye-opener. Led to lots of discussion on contemporary examples! Several of us also, after reading this book, researched further. The author had done meticulous research and wove it all into a great read.
A slow start, but worthwhile continuing. Well researched. Very sensitive in parts.
Only two of our members liked this book - the others found it too lightweight. I was actually one of the ones who enjoyed it and found it interesting.