Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Museum of Extraordinary Things

By: Alice Hoffman
Location: FIC HOFF
Genre; Mystery, Love and Historical Fiction. 

Water for Elephants x Night Circus!

This book goes beyond Fiction/Literature with adding Romance and Historical Fiction to the story. The story takes place in the early 1900’s in New York City. Alice Hoffman gives insight what it must have been like to live at this time in a city that contained unbelievable wealth and unbelievable poverty. She frames her story around two major fires that took place at that time. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire where over 140 people died to a locked door, absence of a sprinkler system, and inadequate fire equipment, and most importantly greedy management. The second fire was the Dreamland Fire that for all practical purposes destroyed the area of Coney Island.

The story chronicles the lives of two young people. Coralie Sardie whose father owns a museum that today would be considered a freak show. He conditions his daughter to become a mermaid in his show and shelters her from the real world. Ezekiel Cohen who came to this country with his father find themselves at odds with each other regarding religion everyday life. He disowns his religion and his father and sets out to be a photographer. “The Museum of Extraordinary Things” falls on hard times due to competition and Coralie begins to explore life and discovering shocking things about her life. Ezekiel and Coralie come together when Ezekiel becomes involved in the hunt for a missing girl that may have run afoul while working for better working conditions in the sweat shops of New York.

A beautifully told story that should more than satisfy any reader interested in this era of history, but those that are also looking for a good romance mixed with mystery. 

Reviewed by Paul Pessolano from

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