Monday, August 1, 2011

Among the Wonderful by Stacy Carlson

In 1842 New York City, P.T. Barnum opened his American Museum. It was part zoo, part freak show, part natural history museum, part theater, part restaurant, part… you get the picture. Among the Wonderful imagines the lives of two of its employees – Ana Swift, Giantess, and Emile Guillaudeu, Taxidermist. They are very different people, holding very different places in the Museum, but both are searching for their place in the world. I was impressed that that search never becomes a cliché and that the Museum never turns into a catalog of freaks.
I loved this book. I was completely captivated by the two main characters, the Museum, and all the strange and wonderful people involved in it. The only thing I wished for at the end was a companion book full of the real details about the Museum so that I would have known right away how well-researched the story was. Not surprisingly, the truth is even stranger than this great historical fiction.

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