I read this book in two days, which either shows it was great or it was easy reading. I really enjoyed this book until the end. Basically, the plot isI read this book in two days, which either shows it was great or it was easy reading. I really enjoyed this book until the end. Basically, the plot is that Cora travels with a young 15 year old, Louise Brooks, to New York, for dance. The book takes place during the 1920s and highlights women's vote, clothing changes, prohibition, great depression, etc. Cora is a married women with two grown sons. She participates in society functions and follows all the 'rules' such as morals and how someone should dress. She travels to New York, in order to discover more about her past. Louise doesn't enjoy following Cora's rules and often tries to break free.
Cora discovers herself more than just being the society woman, wife, and mother. Her spirit is almost awakened as she sees Louise act certain ways.
I almost give the book 4 stars, but I really wasn't pleased with the ending. Yes, Cora discovered herself more in New York, but I think it was too drastic than what probably would actually happen. There wasn't too much character depth. The author seemed to need to include all details from this time period. Did I enjoy the book? Yes, but I didn't love the book. ...more
I have never read such a unique book. Trevor Stratton is an American professor who teaches in Paris. He discovers a box that contains a mixture of objI have never read such a unique book. Trevor Stratton is an American professor who teaches in Paris. He discovers a box that contains a mixture of objects, such as letters, photos, gloves, and even a scarf. The owner of the box and objects is Louise Brunet who lives in Paris, through both world wars. It is somewhat a mystery how the objects connect and fully describe her life. Trevor keeps the box a secret and attempts to understand Louise better. Some things he's able to piece together from the objects is that Louise had a love for a cousin, a marriage to a dependable man, and a passionate attraction to her neighbor. However, Stratton almost sets his imagination free and fills in the empty spots to create her full life. What made this book so unique is that there are actual photographs of each object. It felt as though I discovered the objects with Trevor. 13, rue Thérèse refers to the building where she lives. The book reminded me slightly of The Time Traveller's Wife, because the book moves past to present and the reader gets both Trevor's and Louise's viewpoint.
The author actually found these items in a box that belonged to a real Louise Brunt. However, that is where the similarities differ because the Louise in the book is completely fictionally. In the back of the book, the reader is able to scan QR codes to discover more information and details about the objects. At times I was confused while reading the book, but the reader should just go with it. I love books that contain letters and illustrations, so this was quite an enjoyable book....more
Mercy Lavinia “Vinnie” Bump stood at just two feet and eight inches tall, however she was a woman with a large personality. Never would I allow my sizMercy Lavinia “Vinnie” Bump stood at just two feet and eight inches tall, however she was a woman with a large personality. Never would I allow my size to define me. Instead, I would define it. As a young child, Vinnie was sheltered and her family wanted her close at home. Vinnie had other bold thoughts when a man desired her to perform upon his river boat. Vinnie was shown as a ‘freak’ show alongside a giant woman, sword swallowing man, and other unique individuals. She realized that she didn’t want to lower her standards and be taken advantage of, so Vinnie wrote letters to the famous P. T. Barnum asking to be in his show. When P. T. Barnum and Vinnie met it was as though they were old friends who soon became successful business partners together. Vinnie married the famous Charles Stratton, better known as Tom Thumb who also performed for P. T. Barnum. The wedding was a national sensation and all the elite individuals attended with 2,000 guests. Throughout Vinnie’s life she traveled the world, met royalty and presidents, visited the White House, encountered first hand experiences during the Civil War, and always held her head high and acted like a lady. Along the journey, P. T. Barnum often asked Vinnie to perform actions that she wasn’t happy about, such as pretending she had a baby to please the public. Numerous foster babies were used until P. T. Barnum announced that the baby ‘died’. Between chapters there are intermissions that provide short newspaper and magazine clippings about current events during that time period, such as Civil War issues, the first telegraph, electricity, and scandalous gossip. The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb was written from Vinnie’s strong voice, but it’s not an actual autobiography. The author used references that Vinnie herself wrote. I thought this book was an enjoyable read with humorous and painful moments about a larger than life woman.