Alan Marchant's Reviews > The Hatbox Baby

The Hatbox Baby by Carrie Brown
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's review
Jul 21, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: historical, fiction
Read in July, 2012

I can't describe The Hatbox Baby without a compare/contrast with Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City. Both are set at a World's Fain in Chicago (1933 vs. 1893). Both are structured as an interweaving of contrasting characters (in this case an incubator exposition vs. a fan dance show). And both are centered on biblical themes without any overt religiosity. The harsh contrast is that Devil is a horror story while The Hatbox Baby is a romance.

The romance involves the fan dancer, her insecure cousin, and the preemie doctor. Instead of a romantic triangle, we get three distinct redemptive relationships. Brown's prose is rich and her characterizations are delicate.

Unfortunately I can't give the book 5 stars because the male characters don't succeed as such. They just don't have any testosterone.

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