Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Book Review: It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist

It Happened at the Fair
It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cullen McNamara is frustrated as all get-out with his father for securing him a place at the Chicago World's Fair. Always a clever boy, Cullen invented an automatic sprinkler system for houses and barns. The Fair is everything he ever imagined it would be, but it turns out that his location in the Machinery Building is nearly deafening. And Cullen already struggles with his hearing at the best of times. He's nearly resigned himself to returning home since he can't even hear the few customers who might be interested in his invention. A stroke of good fortune comes his way, or maybe it's Providence, when Cullen discovers that the young lady he met on the very first day of the fair, Miss Della Wentworth, is actually a teacher for the deaf. She agrees to tutor him, and love blossoms at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893.

I practically eat, sleep, and breathe the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Have you ever read The Devil in the White City Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson? I know, it's about a serial killer loose in Chicago at the same time, but it's also about the development of the Chicago World's Fair and that, to me, is far more interesting. I never imagined anyone would write a book that actually took place at the Fair! Yet there it was, merrily sitting on the library shelf, just waiting for me.

Deeanne Gist transported me to 1893. I could see the setting and all the buildings, everything. All right, I admit that if you aren't in love with the Fair like me than you might find it a little dull. Your loss, I'm afraid, because Deeanne has penned yet another winner of Christian historic fiction! I love Cullen! I love Della! There really isn't a single thing I don't love, unless it's that rather nasty short story she wrote that really could have gone unwritten. So, that short you keep seeing pop up? The prelude? Umm, it's gross, and avoid it all costs. "It Happened at the Fair" is brilliant! Her short, not so much.

Bravo, Deeanne, you've done it again! Now to wait on your next novel!

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