Tuesday, June 26, 2012

accidents are really stories finding their own beginnings

First sentences of Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby:
Wayward can mean a lot of things. It can mean lost, misled, unfortunate, left behind. That is how the girls at The Home thought of themselves, despite their best efforts to live some other way.

goodreads synopsis of Wonder Show:
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, friends and neighbors, allow me to change your lives! Step inside Mosco’s Traveling Wonder Show! You’ve read about them in magazines, these so-called human curiosities, this tribe of misfits—now come and see for yourselves. We’ve got a gent as tall as a tree, a lady with a beard, and don’t miss your chance to see the Wild Albinos of Bora Bora! Ask Madame Doula to peer into your future (only two dollars more if you want to know how you’re going to die).
And between these covers behold the greatest act of our display—Portia Remini, the strangest of the menagerie because she’s a ‘normal’ among the freaks, searching for a new beginning on the bally, far away from McGreavey’s Home for Wayward Girls, where Mister watches and waits. He said he would always find Portia, said she could never leave... 
Oh, it’s not for the faint of heart folks. If you’re prone to nightmares or you’ve got a weak ticker, you’d best move on. Within these pages lies a tale of abandonment, loss, misfortune for the rich and glory for the poor (and a little murder doesn’t hurt). It’s a story for the ages, but be warned: once you enter the Wonder Show you will never be the same.

 If you tend to judge a book by its cover, you will love the look of Wonder Show. And, thankfully, the story inside this beautiful cover is just as enchanting. Portia becomes 'wayward' and runs off to join the circus... more specifically the sideshow of curiosities. 

The book is written in multiple points of view: Portia's, the narrator's, as well as several supporting characters. I liked this 'collage' style of writing. It was a fun way to see the story... which was very dark at times.

Portia is a wonderful story teller. She is full of imagination and adventure, even during the darkest times. Wonder Show is a delightful look into circus life and the humanity of "human oddities". You will be left wondering about the definition of 'normal'.
"Lives begin only once. Stories are much more complicated. They can pick up, leave off, pick up again a thousand times. There is no beginning or end that way. And don't even get me talking about middles."  ~ Portia, Wonder Show

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