I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.
The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin
From the back of the book:
“A two-foot, eight-inch tall dynamo, Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump lived a remarkable life that reaches out to us more than a century later. Taken under the wing of the immortal impresario P.T. Barnum, married to the tiny superstar General Tom Thumb in the wedding of the century, she charmed riverboat gamblers and bewitched the rich and powerful.”
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, so I fully expected to enjoy this book. Unfortunately, I was mistaken. It’s very well written, but I just never really connected with this book.”
What I liked about the book: It is full of details. The characters and plot are well developed. Benjamin really connected with her characters and that comes through in the writing. Benjamin also paints a colorful picture of the time period.
What I didn’t like about the book: For me it was too long and this might be due to the fact that I didn’t like Vinnie. She is not an endearing character. Benjamin has portrayed her as cold and unfeeling. It’s obvious she loved her younger sister, but she does not consider Minnie her equal. Even her concern for her sister’s well being is tinged with what is good for her and not necessarily Minnie. She is cold and unfeeling toward her husband, treating him as though he were merely a co-worker than her husband. There is a hint that Vinnie does feel true love for someone other than herself, which makes Vinnie a little more endearing. However, this is not fully explored and the reader is left wondering.
To be fair, many other reviewers on Goodreads, have given this book high marks. As I said the book is very well written, it’s just not my cup of tea. If you like historical fiction and don’t mind a rather long story about an unsympathetic character, then this might be the book for you.
Scheduled to be on sale July 26, 2011.