Lori's Reviews > Tonic and Balm

Tonic and Balm by Stephanie  Allen
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bookshelves: arc-reviewers-copy, fiction, has-a-bunch-of-jerks-in-it, queer-fic

Set in my home state of Pennsylviana in the early 1900's, Tonic and Balm is the tale of Doc Bell's Miracles and Mirth Medicine Show, which is cleverly told from the perspective of each of Doc's motely crew - a collection of talented, traveling misfits who wow the nightly crowds with their acrobatics, sword swallowing, and dancing routines. Highlighted throughout each personal account is the mysterious heart of the show, the sideshow freak Miss Antoinette, a woman who suffers from hydrocephalus and whose silence and strangeness creates much unease and uncertainty amidst the group's members.

While wholy intriqued with Stephanie's approach to storytelling, the diversity of the cast which includes LGBTQ and POC lead characters, and the descriptions of the common chaos that seems to naturally rise up within the group, I found myself longing for more... I dunno... more sparkle? more subterfuge? just.... more.
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Reading Progress

October 8, 2018 – Shelved
October 8, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
October 8, 2018 – Shelved as: arc-reviewers-copy
January 13, 2019 – Started Reading
January 18, 2019 – Shelved as: fiction
January 18, 2019 – Shelved as: has-a-bunch-of-jerks-in-it
January 18, 2019 – Shelved as: queer-fic
January 18, 2019 – Finished Reading

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