Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Tumbling Turner Sisters by Juliette Fay

5 Star

In 1919, the Turner sisters and their parents are barely scraping by. Their father is a low-paid boot-stitcher in Johnson City, New York, and the family is always one paycheck away from eviction. When their father’s hand is crushed and he can no longer work, their irrepressible mother decides that the vaudeville stage is their best—and only—chance for survival.

Traveling by train from town to town, teenagers Gert, Winnie, and Kit, and recent widow Nell soon find a new kind of freedom in the company of performers who are as diverse as their acts. There is a seamier side to the business, however, and the young women face dangers and turns of fate they never could have anticipated.

Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star

For someone who generally does not enjoy historical fiction, this book was an absolute treat! I was thrilled to be so into this crazy and sometimes raucous tale, as I could not help but fall in love with the madcap Turners. Even though I don't generally get into historical fiction, I do enjoy history and especially the era in which this book is set. 

Vaudeville is an utterly fascinating concept to me, and I felt like this book gave me an insider's look at what the performers actually experienced. I know the author mentioned that her grandfather had been a performer, but I wonder how much came from what he may have shared and how much she thought up.

The Turners were definitely a gang of girls that made you love them. Never giving up despite many terrible things and obstacles in their way, they were even inspirational in their devotion to their craft, and one that they had come to out of necessity yet stayed with out of love. Young women with very different experiences but who were devoted to the family above all else.

This book was highly entertaining and fast paced with short chapters and I felt swept away in the entertainment of it all. The show must and did go on and this will remain one of my favorite books of this year as I keep thinking about it weeks later.

Thank you to Gallery Books for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

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