Publisher: Gallery Books + Blackstone Audio
Release Date: June 14, 2016
Genre: Historical Fiction
NOTE: The eBook is on sale for $1.99 through 5/30/21!
In 1919, the Turner sisters and their parents are barely scraping by. Their father is a low-paid boot-stitcher in Johnson City, New York, and the family is always one paycheck away from eviction. When their father’s hand is crushed and he can no longer work, their irrepressible mother decides that the vaudeville stage is their best—and only—chance for survival.
Traveling by train from town to town, teenagers Gert, Winnie, and Kit, and recent widow Nell soon find a new kind of freedom in the company of performers who are as diverse as their acts. There is a seamier side to the business, however, and the young women face dangers and turns of fate they never could have anticipated. Heartwarming and surprising, The Tumbling Turner Sisters is ultimately a story of awakening—to unexpected possibilities, to love and heartbreak, and to the dawn of a new American era.
The Tumbling Turner Sisters by Juliette Fay has been out since 2016 but for some reason was only recently put on my radar. I haven’t read a single historical fiction novel having to do with American Vaudeville and I found this completely fascinating. 1919 in New York is a rough time, especially for the Turner family, and it was interesting to see how they ended up getting their start on the Vaudeville scene. I loved getting to know the characters, and even though the story is told only from Gert and Winnie’s perspectives, I felt like I got to know all of the sisters fairly well. I loved getting emersed in the family’s story, and I enjoyed the glimpse I got of what Vaudeville (and New York) were like in that time period. Fay doesn’t shy away from tough subjects either, and there were parts of this book that broke my heart.
I found the audiobook on Libby through one of my library systems, so I gave that a try while I followed along in my eBook and I am so glad I did! There is a different narrator for both Gert and Winnie and they both did such a fantastic job voicing this. I haven’t listened to Katie Schorr or Eileen Stevens before, and I could completely picture their voices as our 2 lead characters. Each chapter started with a quote from a real figure in history (appropriate to the story) and I was a huge fan of this as well as the alternating viewpoints. I even started crying towards the end, so it is good to have some tissues handy! I was such a fan of Fay’s writing style and I am so glad I know about her now.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.