Jane Hammons's Reviews > The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin
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's review
Aug 09, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, fiction-historical, women-writers
Read from August 09 to 12, 2011

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Benjamin does an amazing job of bringing Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump Stratton, Vinnie, to life, showing the challenges she had as a little person, a woman, and a successful businesswoman. P. T. Barnum, always bigger than life, is a very sympathetic and engaging character as well. Vinnie's sister, Minnie, and General Tom Thumb (Charles Stratton) are also rendered in full as important minor characters. The travels throughout the U.S. during and before the Civil War are fascinating, and the Gilded Age is represented in all its splendor and decadence. And not surprising, given that much of the novel is about life traveling in various shows, there is a huge cast of strange and wonderful characters. I also enjoyed reading Benjamin's brief essay at the end about how she did the research for this book and why she decided to have the primary relationship be between Vinnie and Barnum. A lot of sadness in the book, but it is a great picture of the times.
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12/11 marked as: read

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message 1: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Thanks for the review, Jane. This one looks interesting to me.

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