Welcome to the blog tour for It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist!
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?
Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/komrd
Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/komrd
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 atIWantHerBook.com and at Facebook.com/DeesFriends.
Cullen McNamara has been presented with an exciting opportunity, one that he's not sure he wants to take. After his mother died tragically in a fire, Cullen invented an automatic sprinkler system that he thinks can save many lives. His dad submitted it to the World's Fair, and they accepted. Now Cullen has been committed to 6 months of exhibiting and trying to sell his creation. The Exhibition Hall though turns out to be extremely noisy, and this noise compounds the hearing loss that Cullen is developing. At someone's suggestion, Cullen goes to some young ladies at the Fair teaching lip reading to deaf children. There he enlists the help of Della, who promises to teach him to lip read if he acts as her tour to the Fair. Together they embark on an amazing adventure.
This book had some really fascinating things in it. For one, it's clear the author did tons of research, and she has a very thorough listing of what was accurate and where she took liberties. This is definitely represented in the book. You get a real feel for what it was like at the World's Fair. It must have been absolutely amazing. I felt like I was there with Cullen and Della exploring the various wonders of the Fair. I also thought that the subject of how deaf people were treated (and even just people who were losing their hearing) pretty fascinating. In particular I was intrigued by the debate of lip reading verses signing. This idea of mainstreaming vs. individualized education is still something that is debated in the special needs community, so this book helped to show that this is something that has been discussed for a long time. Hopefully we are meeting the needs of that community much better now though.
The characters were great, and I really wanted to cheer them on their way. I liked the slow way the relationship grew and the mutual respect shown by Cullen and Della. I'm not sure there is a better combination than romance and history, and this book had that all wrapped up in one fantastic story. It was a well thought-out and planned book, and that made it a joy to read.
Book provided for review.
One "fair" winner will receive:
- An iPad Mini
- A $25 iTunes gift card
So grab your copy of It Happened at the Fair and join Deeanne and friends on the evening of May 22nd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)