Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby YP FIC BARNABY

Come see the oddest of oddities, the tragic spectacle of twisted humanity at Mosco’s Traveling Wonder Show.  We have a towering giant, a shrunken dwarf, a bearded woman, the albino family of Bora Bora, and the strangest of all: Portia, the ‘normal’ girl that made freaks into a family.  But that family can’t protect her if Mister finds her.  And Mister always finds hi wayward girls.

This is a delightful historical fiction tale set in a circus during the Great Depression.  It has great period detail and a very unique setting.  It was fascinating to get a realistic look into the freak shows of old.  Barnaby builds a wonderful supporting cast and an amazing protagonist.  Portia is a natural born storyteller and liar, which almost always makes for a great character.  She’s resourceful and clever, but also very flawed.  This drives the plot forward in a way that makes it feel meaningful and make sense why a ‘normal’ girl would have to live with so called ‘freaks’.  Her storytelling and lies work as a metafictional examination of the power of stories to shape the reality we want to live.  The ending feels a bit rushed and sort of too neat.  I mean, how realistic is a ‘happy’ ending in the Great Depression? But have no fear; the book is more than good enough to handle a less than perfect finish.  I highly recommend this to anyone that wants a good story with a unique setting, but especially for fans of historical fiction.

You can check our catalog for Wonder Show here.

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