Monday, May 13, 2013

It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist

It Happened at the Fair 
by Deeanne Gist
Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance
Available April 2013
Howard Books
432 pages

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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?

My Thoughts
I've thoroughly enjoyed many of Deeanne Gist's past novels. However, something about It Happened at the Fair simply didn't click with me. I've tried to figure out what it was but I can't quite put my finger on it. One thing that was really distracting to me was how some of the words were written without vowels. I've seen in a few reviews that this is to indicate that Cullen was hard of hearing and couldn't hear the words clearly, but it was unexplained by the author and really threw me. Overall, I found myself really struggling to get through the book, putting it down for weeks at a time and not wanting to come back to it, so I finally decided to set it aside.

I'm definitely in the minority here as most everyone has thoroughly enjoyed the book. If you've loved Gist's previous novels, would enjoy learning more about the Chicago World's Fair, and like reading historical fiction, then please check out some of the other reviews. This just might be the book for you. [DNF]

I received a free copy of this book from Howard Books & LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Deeanne Gist—known to her family, friends, and fans as Dee—has rocketed up the bestseller lists and captivated readers everywhere with her original historical and contemporary novels. A favorite among readers and reviewers alike, her popular titles include A Bride Most Begrudging, A Bride in the Bargain, and Maid to Match. Her latest book, It Happened at the Fair (April 2013), is her ninth published novel.

A popular speaker, Gist’s presentations have been featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and in other publications. The Wall Street Journal’s accompanying online video was the most watched video on the FrontPageWSJ.com website for several days following their feature.

Gist has a background in education and journalism. Her credits include People, Parents, Parenting, Family Fun, Houston Chronicle and Orlando Sentinel. She is also the creator of I Did It!®, a parenting  line of products. Gist lives in Houston, Texas with her husband of thirty years. The couple has four grown children.

Deeanne Gist Online
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

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