The Museum Of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

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Another beautifully written and poignant book to sink yourself into, Alice Hoffman once again weaves a tale of romance, tragedy and release. I love her books so much, and although some of you have probably figured out from reading all her books this year, I do have favourites, this is one of her new releases and shows once again that she is a powerful story teller.

Coralie lives with her father and their maid above The Museum Of Extraordinary Things in New York in 1911. Her father is a hard man, who keeps the secrets of his museum close to his chest, and Coralie knows to obey him. But as she grows up amongst the strange performers who work there, her own curiosity starts to get the better of her, as she becomes one of the curiosities herself, and she starts to question the way things are.

Across town, Eddie, a man who is outrunning his past finds himself eking a living any way he can, until he finds himself taken in as a photography assistant, and starts to see the world anew through the camera lense. Both of them find their lives changed forever by a chance encounter by the Hudson River in the middle of the night, and by the case of a missing girl.

The story unfolds beautifully, with that hint of magic and mystery that is Hoffman’s calling card. She evokes the time period beautifully, and explores the social and political climate through the lives of the ordinary people living through it. And her two central characters are wonderful, beautifully drawn, strange and longing to break free. Another wonderful book from this author.

Read It If: this book has less overt magic than Hoffman’s others, but is full of intrigue and mystery. A great read for those who love family secrets, mystery and historical fiction. Oh, and a bit of romance too!

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