Monday, May 9, 2016

The Tumbling Turner Sisters - Juliette Fay

FTC Compliance Statement: I received a free, time-limited, electronic review copy of this book from the publisher via in exchange for my honest review, which is provided below. I have not been otherwise compensated for this review in any way and my opinion is my own.

Longtime readers may know that I am fascinated by early 20th century entertainment, particularly vaudeville, so when I read the description of this book on NetGalley I leapt at the chance to read a fictional account of a vaudeville act.

This book was highly enjoyable. The author obviously did a lot of research so it's a decent introduction to vaudeville in general as well as the story of how a family works up an act and takes it on the road, and the adventures they have as a result. The spirited Turner sisters are sympathetic characters, and their encounters with the denizens of vaudeville, including some real performers who make fictional cameos, make for entertaining reading.

The writing is breezy and easy to read, but at the same time, it doesn't tiptoe around the casual racism and animal cruelty that were sadly commonplace at this era of history, which was a nice touch - it's always good to keep in mind not only how far we have come, but how far we still have to go. Two of the main characters take turns telling the story, and to be honest I found this confusing from time to time, but it didn't detract from the story that much.

As it happens, the author's great grandfather was actually a dancer who performed in vaudeville shows - how cool is that? This is a fun summer read. Recommended.

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