Deeanne Gist takes readers on a tour of the Chicago World's Fair through the eyes of two exhibitors. The fair and its exhibits was reborn through Gist's descriptions and imagery. In 1893, the Chicago World's Fair took on a life of its own, and the same is true in the plot of "It Happened at the Fair." The architecture and exhibits are described in such clear detail that it feels as though you are walking the grounds with the characters. Gist also incorporates some of the tragedies and failures of the fair, which adds more historical truth and dimension. Each chapter begins with photos from the fair which are fun to examine.
The fair overshadowed the storyline of the two main characters, Cullen and Della. Unlike some of Deeanne Gist's previous novels, the relationship between Cullen and Della begins as a friendship. I enjoyed this more toned-down approach, but readers who expect more physical attraction will be left waiting until the end. The most interesting aspects of the main characters' lives was their profession instead of the growth of their personal relationship. It offered insights into the philosophy of teaching deaf students and the prejudices of the time periods.
I received a complimentary e-copy of this novel from Netgalley, courtesy of Howard Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Deeanne Gist in her new book "It Happened at the Fair" published by Howard Books takes us into the life of Cullen McNamara and Della Wentworth.
From the back cover: 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 Hall 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?
I like history and Deanne Gist has captured the history of the Chicago World's Fair and then some. The 1893 World's Columbian Exposition was a magical place. The White City was made up of structures built especially for the expo-buildings that would set the standard in architecture for a century to come. Exhibition halls overflowed with the latest innovations welcomed by a throng of people from all around the globe. Ms. Gist blends romance and historical fiction to bring the past alive through her extensive period research. You will find yourself not only caught up with the exciting backdrop of the fair, but the blossoming romance between Cullen and Della. And, at this Fair, you will also encounter President Grover Cleveland, Alexander Graham Bell, Helen Keller, and Ann Sullivan, actually attendees of the legendary fair. Great characters and a great romance. I really liked "It Happened at the Fair" and look forward to more stories from Deeanne Gist.
If you missed the interview for "A Bride In The Bargain", a different series from Deeanne Gist, and would like to listen to it and/or interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
The Chicago World's Fair came once and last six months. The novel, "It Happened at the Fair" has come once and I wish it would have lasted me those six months!
From first chuckle to last sigh, this novel made my five-star book shelves and my favorites for 2013. Sweetly romantic, sassy and charming, I couldn't have loved spending time with these characters more.
I don't think you could have a richer in culture and history setting than the World's Fair. There aren't many books out there set in this period and it was fun to step into this world created by so many ingenious minds.
Our characters in Cullen and Della are captivating. To watch their dance of avoidance and falling in love, that tension that only comes from truly wanting and loving something you can't have made the pages irresistible to stop turning. It's one of those stories, you don't skim. At all.
With historical depth, romantic symmetry and snappy dialogue, a story world has been created that made this reader ever so eager to spend all the time I could there. It's just too bad each page takes you closer to the end. Highly recommended historical romance reading!
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through Litfuse for my copy to review.
Deanne Gist is a favorite author of mine and I try to buy all of her books. This book, however, was more of a history lesson and descriptions of the World's Fair, with a little story mixed in. It was not what I expected, so it was disappointing to have spent the money.
From start to finish this book is amazing!!! DeeAnne has a talent to put something absolutely hilarious in otherwise serious situations (The parade incident still makes me laugh).
Cullen is so conscientious and humble. Della is out of line cautious and good hearted. Wanda doesn't give up without a fight and Tomas just wants to win her. A father, that believes in his son and is ready to lose all just to see him succeed; and the Fair that is absolutely beautiful. DeeAnne's vivid description of the Fair and a smooth blend with romance and integrity of character made me fall in love with the story and feel as though I have really been there. If you end up like me wishing the book didn't end, I suggest you read the little confection she is making in the Author's Note.
The scene with the fire and the plight of deaf children really touched me. It is true that we don't really know what people around us go through until we are in their shoes-so to say.
I should probably give you the insight on what really happened at the Fair but I truly believe that you should read it and let yourself be surprised by what you discover in it_.I know I was because this book is different from all the other DeeAnne wrote ( I read them all and none compare).
Note to Author --- Absolutely can't wait to see your next book come out.
Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from Howard Books through NetGalley.com in exchange for my honest opinion.