Monday, June 27, 2016

The Tumbling Turner Sisters by Juliette Fay
Have you ever heard of vaudeville? I hadn't before I read this book. Vaudeville was a variety show program that was popular in the late 1800s to the 1930s. Acts ranged from singing and dancing, to impersonations, to even acts with animals. It was a pretty big form of live entertainment back then, and one I think sounds very cool.

From Goodreads:
In 1919, the Turner sisters and their parents are barely scraping by. Their father is a low-paid boot-stitcher in Johnson City, New York, and the family is always one paycheck away from eviction. When their father’s hand is crushed and he can no longer work, their irrepressible mother decides that the vaudeville stage is their best—and only—chance for survival.

Traveling by train from town to town, teenagers Gert, Winnie, and Kit, and recent widow Nell soon find a new kind of freedom in the company of performers who are as diverse as their acts. There is a seamier side to the business, however, and the young women face dangers and turns of fate they never could have anticipated.

My thoughts:
I loved reading about vaudeville and the different people that were involved with it. There were so many different characters involved in each show, and they really made the story interesting. While this may seem like a sweet story about sisters performing an act, there was a lot of serious talk about the issues that were prevalent in that time period. Racism was a huge issue (and still is), and I enjoyed reading about how the girls tackled it. They put themselves into a few dangerous situations in order to do what was right, no matter the potential consequences to themselves.

I loved each of the sisters for different reasons. They were all different, and you really got to see them grow and flourish throughout the story. Gert was headstrong and tough, Winnie was smart and determined, Kit was young and fun, and Nell was recently widowed and reserved. The story alternated between the perspectives of Gert, Winnie, and Kit, but I wish there had been chapters from Nell's perspective.

I did find it a little slow at times, but the slow parts didn't last long and the story was quick to pick u again. My final rating is 3.5 stars. It was entertaining to read, and filled with lots of different and quirky characters. If you're looking for a fun historical novel, definitely pick this one up.

A copy of this book was provided by Simon and Schuster Canada in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

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