Thursday, May 16, 2013

It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist Book Review & Tour

It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist

About the Book:

A transporting historical novel about a promising young inventor, his struggle with loss, and the attractive teacher who changes his life, all set against the razzle-dazzle of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.
Gambling everything, including the family farm, Cullen McNamara travels to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with his most recent invention. But the noise in the Fair's Machinery Palace makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading.
The young teacher is reluctant to participate, and Cullen has trouble keeping his mind on his lessons while intently watching her lips. Like the newly invented Ferris Wheel, he is caught in a whirl between his girl back home, his dreams as an inventor, and his unexpected attraction to his new tutor. Can he keep his feet on the ground, or will he be carried away?

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Meet Deeanne:

Deeanne Gist---known to her family, friends, and fans as Dee---has rocketed up bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her very fun, very original historicals. She has received numerous RITA nominations, two consecutive Christy Awards, and rave reviews. Deeanne has a background in education and journalism and a degree from Texas A&M. She has written for People, Parents, and Parenting. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and has four grown children. She has a very active online community on her website at and 

My Thoughts:

While interesting and fun, this one didn't quite feel like the Deeanne Gist I'm used to. The dialogue and characters were fun and witty, this one just didn't grab me as well as some of Ms. Gist's other books. Filled with fascinating historical facts, there were times I skimmed through until dialogue started again. 

I really enjoy how Ms. Gist writes her characters. They're lively, fun, have their own warts and yet still, I love them. Even Wanda. As irritating as she was, I still liked her enough to be sad for her. That's a win. I believed in Cullen more than he did himself, and there were times I wanted to reach through the book and smack him for being too stubborn to deal with certain things. Like Bulenberg. Ugh. I seriously wanted to hit him. Repeatedly. 

I truly did like this book, and I would recommend it to friends that love historical fiction/romance. There was so much information in this novel, albeit fascinating, there were times I found myself skimming sections. However, Ms. Gist did a good job taking us to an era most wouldn't think of and describing in detail what it looked like.

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