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The Tumbling Turner Sisters

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  2,570 ratings  ·  468 reviews
For fans of Orphan Train and Water for Elephants, a compelling historical novel from “one of the best authors of women’s fiction” (Library Journal). Set against the turbulent backdrop of American Vaudeville, four sisters embark on an unexpected adventure—and a last-ditch effort to save their family.

It’s 1919, and the Turners are barely scraping by. When their father loses
ebook, 352 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by Gallery Books
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Beth They were not, but the author used several of her family members as the influence for the characters in the book. Some of the characters in the book…more They were not, but the author used several of her family members as the influence for the characters in the book. Some of the characters in the book also seem like composite of real life vaudevillians from that era. (less)

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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,570 ratings  ·  468 reviews

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Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)

This is the most well written, expertly researched and entertaining book that I have read so far this year! Yes, it’s really that good. I don’t give out many 5 star reviews and I wish I could give this one a higher rating.

This is wonderful historical fiction that covers the period in our country when vaudeville was at it’s
Diane S ☔
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While defending another man, the Turner family patriarch damages his hand, and can no longer perform the work which determined his employment. Facing eviction, their mother determines that her daughters will get together a vaudeville act. Putting together a tumbling act and securing an agent of sorts, they first play at small venues and later larger ones, traveling across country.

A very likable book, four sisters, who fight at times but always have each others back. Different personalities, diff
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Tumbling Turner Sisters by Juliette Fay is a 2016 Gallery Books publication. I as provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

This wonderful historical novel pays homage to Vaudeville while weaving a story around the Turner sisters and their many trials, life lessons, failures and successes, loves and losses.

When the Turner patriarch suffers an injury that prevents him from holding a job, his wife and four daughters work on a tumbling act an
After their father injures his hand and loses his job as a boot stitcher, the four Turner sisters - Nell, Gert, Winnie and Kit - are groomed by their mother into become a traveling vaudeville act in order to pay the bills.

On paper, this book should have been a slam dunk for me: its set in Upstate New York in the 1920's, its about vaudeville and sisters going through a tough time, supporting each other and making a good life for themselves. And yet... something about it just failed to grab me.

After winning Excellent Daughters: The Secret Lives of Young Women Who Are Transforming the Arab World last year, I was sure I would have to wait a number of years before I won another book from Goodreads. That had been my previous pattern. Imagine my astonishment when I won this book from Goodreads in 2016. Not only that, but I won The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin from Goodreads the following month. I will eventually be getting to that one too. Since Goodreads giveaways are random and ...more

It wasn't a career that I was after, it was just that I wanted a life that didn't mean spending most of it at the cookstove and the kitchen sink. - Sophie Tucker, singer

Quick and simplistically quaint. Great vacation/weekend reading. The Tumbling Turner Sisters is predominantly lighthearted and breezy historical fiction, transporting readers back to vaudeville era entertainment and the diversity of acts, gender and race realities, noteworthy current events of the era. The author primarily keeps
Cyndy Aleo
Apr 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, popular-fiction
Give me a book about a circus, burlesque, or vaudeville and you've lost me for at least a few days.

I was thrilled to get a chance to read ()and review) an ARC of Juliette Fay's upcoming The Tumbling Turner Sisters, about a family of four sisters who, at their mother's behest, take to vaudeville with their tumbling routines to earn money when their father is injured and unable to work.

::: The Good Stuff::

Fay has very much done her homework. She references actual vaudeville houses of the late 191
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
I received an ARC of this work in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to NetGalley; Simon and Schuster; Gallery Books; and the author, Juliette Fay.

It is evident from the prologue to the readers that Juliette Fay is both passionate and knowledgeable about the vaudeville era in the United States. In fact, the novel was inspired by and is dedicated to the author's great grandfather.

I was initially greatly intrigued by the subject matter (and the cover) and was thoroughly looking forward to b
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
This was a really enjoyable historical fiction revolving around four sisters set in 1919. I loved learning about the vaudeville acts, what kind of people they were, and what their motivations or hopes and dreams were.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I originally was interested in this novel because I thought it was about a circus act. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was about vaudeville instead. This is my first time reading a book by Juliette Fay and I was highly impressed!

I loved the camaraderie between the sisters, meeting other characters from different acts along the way and learning more about them, watching unlikely friendships form, and seeing the development of the sisters' act. I learned a lot about vaudeville
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Goodreads for providing a free book giveaway. I was charmed by this book. I loved the main girls' characters and the historical fiction background of a unique subject, vaudeville. It was great writing and storytelling combined. Indeed, Sarah Waters lovers will find lots to love in this author's new book. I can highly recommend. A fun read, with some deeper topics involved to make it a very worthy read.
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lacpl-ebook

“Being a star has made it possible for me to get insulted in places where the average Negro could never hope to go and get insulted.”—Sammy Davis Jr.

Second only, perhaps, to running away to join the circus; the boards of vaudeville have always had a special allure. Juliette Fay captures that exciting allure—replete with the parlance and nostalgia of a very unique place and time—in her delightful novel, The Tumbling Turner Sisters.

Has it really only been a hundred years from vau
Paul Pessolano
Mar 23, 2016 rated it liked it
“The Tumbling Turner Sisters” by Juliette Fay, published by Gallery Books.

Category – Fiction/Literature Publication Date – June 14, 2016.

The Turner’s have fallen on hard times in 1910. Their only source of income has become disabled and they are faced with falling behind in their mortgage and a dwindling food supply.

The four girls, Gert, Winnie, Kit, and Nell find that they have a talent for tumbling. In an effort to supplement their income they turn to Vaudeville. They struggle at first as they
Leighkaren Labay
It was just ok. I was expecting a bit more regarding character development and likability of characters. It seemed like it could be a book where you could develop an attachment to the characters but it was as if the author didn't have enough pages to get that effect. They were all sketched with pretty broad strokes and none of them were really that likable. The author touched on Prohibition, the 19th Amendment, the KKK, and miscgenation (which was the most interesting to me), but really didn't d ...more
The Turner sisters are Nell, Winnie, Gert and Kit. When their father injures his hand and is unable to work, their mother convinces them to create a vaudeville act and go on the road to make ends meet.

The girls become increasingly popular and their act more refined as the months pass. We meet all of the great acts they befriend while playing small theaters around the U.S.

I liked the dual narrative of the plot, but it wasn't always necessary. I liked the quotes at the beginning of each chapter.
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this romp through the 1919 Vaudeville circuit. Stayed up late and walked while I read because I just wanted to know what the next page would bring.

I could find faults: the writing is sometimes clunky, the author desperately wants to include every historical fact she's learned, the love stories are a bit predictable -- but it didn't matter. I loved the subject, I loved the characters, I loved the story.
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, romance
This work of historical fiction explores the world of vaudeville. With interesting and well-developed characters, this story tells of one family’s hardship and rise to fame. Poignant, gripping, and ultimately memorable, this is one book you won’t want to miss.
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When the dad injures his hand and can no longer work at the shoe factory, mom rises to the occasion to save the family. Garnering her four daughters, she coaxes them into developing an act for vaudeville. The girls realize that they either earn money or become homeless. With money as the initial incentive, they soon discover they like performing. There is much to learn and successes to be savored, but some heartache is part of it, too. Author Juliette Fay has done extensive research into the era ...more
PennsyLady (Bev)
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Tumbling Turner Sisters
by Juliette Fay)

I'm so pleased that I took time to request and read this novel.
It's a heartwarming look at a family facing poverty in 1919.
The situation is impossible after father crushes a hand and cannot work.

The enterprising mother Ethel decides teenagers Gert, Winnie and Kit and recently widowed sister Nell become an acrobatic act and travel the vaudeville circuit.

The story is told in turn by Winnie and Gert.
The initial encounter is with timid Winnie and strong wi
Lake County Public Library
An entertaining, fictional look inside the world of vaudeville. The two sisters who narrate the story are very different and the combined perspective provides a well-rounded view of the world and the people they meet. Funny and heart-breaking, with historical tidbits about the era sprinkled throughout.

-- Chris, Dyer-Schererville branch
I can't wait until everyone can read this. Such a great story...the characters come to life and tumble off the page (see what I did there?). Loved it...just wish there were about 100 more pages about the Turner Sisters.
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
An incredible book about 4 sisters who will do anything despite the odds to save their family. You'll laugh and cry.

Linda C
The story takes place over 2 years from 1918 through 1920. When their father’s hand is crushed and he’s unable to work, their mother thinks vaudeville will save the four girls and the family. The three teenagers, Gert, Winnie and Kit and widowed Nell put together an acrobatic act. At the auditions they get a spot and an agent, who arranges an upstate NY tour of small vaudeville houses. We see the behind the scenes of this world and watch each of the girls discover themselves. Lots of great chara ...more
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I won this advanced copy in March, it arrived in May and I saved until now for book club. I was a bit apprehensive as vaudeville life doesn't particularly interest me, but this book was far from focused on vaudeville. The family worked in vaudeville in order to earn money and they got better as time went on, but it really was about family, survival, the harshness of life and the beauty. And, about the people, the family met during their travels. The end was so well pulled together. I felt like I ...more
Original review can be found at

**I received an advanced readers copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

This book was set during the Vaudeville era which I knew absolutely nothing about. Before opening the book I thought it meant circus only to find out that it was a series of stage shows featuring all kinds of different acts, skills, and talents. In 1919 when this book began and before movies, television
This book is an interesting and enjoyable look at vaudeville (fictional story with factual note at the end). I like historical fiction, particularly of this time period (around 1920 in the U.S.), so this is right up my alley. The characters were well written and I cared what happened to them throughout the book. Those main characters are a family of 4 girls-women and their mother, with the focus on two of the sisters (Gert and Winnie) as alternating narrators. I liked how the book ended and I hi ...more
Though it doesn't delve as deeply into emotion as it could, this novel provides insight into the world of vaudeville as told through two perspectives, one sister who views the tumbling act as a means of money to attend college while the other hopes to make her way through life on the stage, in defiance of the constraints placed upon her by society. The friendly relationships that develop between the traveling acts and the dynamics between four sisters and their mother are touching and fun.
Franny Burd
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
*Disclaimer: I was provided an ARC from the editor for an unbiased review of this book.
Fay has written a fun and engaging story that is set in the Vaudeville days of the early 1920's. Informative and captivating, it is the story of how the Turner sisters found themselves on stage, their experiences, and the people they meet (including a young Archie Leach, later to be known as Carey Grant).
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
In her latest book, Juliette Faye gives her readers a glimpse into the life of Vaudeville entertainers. It is evident that she has done her research on the era as she describes what life was like for someone who earned their living on the Vaudeville stage. Life was hard and competition fierce but there was a definite camaraderie between the entertainers. I enjoyed learning more about how certain acts were chosen, the order in which they'd perform and their very unique abilities.

Faye also adds in
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I quite enjoyed reading THE TUMBLING TURNER SISTERS, a light historical fiction concerning vaudeville. When the father of the family crushes his hand and can no longer work as a cobbler, the strong willed mother pushes her 4 daughters into vaudeville to save the family. The book is interesting and a perfect summer read!
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Juliette Fay is the author of THE TUMBLING TURNER SISTERS, a USA Today bestseller and Costco Pennie’s Book Club Pick. Previous novels include THE SHORTEST WAY HOME, one of Library Journal‘s Top 5 Best Books of 2012: Women’s Fiction; DEEP DOWN TRUE, short-listed for the Women’s Fiction award by the American Library Association; and SHELTER ME, an Indie Next pick and Massachusetts Book Award “Must-R ...more
“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. —Will Rogers, actor, singer, comedian, and social commentator” 0 likes
“I guess it’s safe to say that at any given moment it’s a somber time for somebody.” 0 likes
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