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Church of Marvels

S become increasingly connected their stories and secrets unfold Moving from the Coney Island seashore to the tenement studded streets of the Lower East Side a spectacular human circus to a brutal terrifying asylum Church of Marvels takes readers back to turn of the century New York a city of hardship and dreams love and loneliness hope and danger In magnetic luminous prose Leslie Parry offers a richly atmospheric vision of the past in a narrative of astonishing beauty full of wondrous enchantmentsa marvelous debut that will leave readers breathless. There s something alluring about a story that tells of seemingly disparate individuals each of whom have there own history and day to day life challenges There s something alluring knowing that their lives will converge at some point leaving you wondering what impact they will have on each other This is one of those stories It wasn t just the discovery of how they would meet that grabbed me The writing pulled me in from the first sentences and I immediately liked all of the main characters Belle and Odile twin sisters raised at Coney Island where their mother Friendship Willingbird Church ran her side show The Church of Marvels before the fire Odile leaves Coney Island for Manhattan in search of Belle when she runs away Nineteen year old Sylvan a privies cleaner and fighter has only himself in this world until he discovers a baby girl as he is cleaning the privies one night Then there s Alphie disowned by her family at fourteen making a living on the streets until she meets and falls in love with AnthonyIt s the seedy side of New York City in the late 1890 s and these broken and alone people each bearing their sadnesses find and help save each otherThrough flashbacks of their pasts the author skillfully develops these characters and slowly we find out who they really are but it is not until close the end and in the epilogue that we know all of the secrets about them But from beginning to end it s one amazing rideIt s difficult for me to say much without giving the story away so I ll just say that I definitely recommend this book about that time and place and about family belonging acceptanceI love when a first novel is this good because it leaves me with the possibility of perhaps from this authorThanks to Harper Collins and NetGalley

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A ravishing first novel set in vibrant tumultuous turn of the century New York City where the lives of four outsiders become entwined bringing irrevocable change to them allNew York 1895 Sylvan Threadgill a night soiler cleaning out the privies behind the tenement houses finds an abandoned newborn baby in the muck An orphan himself Sylvan rescues the child determined to find where she belongs Odile Church and her beautiful sister Belle were raised amid the applause and magical pageantry of The Church of Marvels their mother’s spectacular Coney Isl. put it on a t shirt 2015 is officially the year of spectacular carnivalsideshow debut novels by womenthis is a great contrast and companion to the other circussy book i recently read The Book of Speculation they are two very different treatments of similar themes family seeecrets and the lives of sideshow performers The Book of Speculation has a lightness to it where its magical elements give it a fairytale feeling despite some potentially bad things happening to its characters this one there is no magic to be found here this is a dark dark world and i do so like the dark this is manhattan and coney island 1895 and the story has four major characters the twins odile and isabelle sylvan and alphie it s a tricksy book and at first it is unclear what connection these characters have to each other as the narrative jumps from one to t other but have faith things wind up tight as can be with many unexpected revelations along the way even the surprises you can half predict will have unexpected details that are shiveringly good it s got a sarah waters uality in its breadth of historical detail and parry never shies away from gruesomely vivid descriptions whether it be the brutal conditions of women consigned to an asylum or the details of the sex trade or waste removal in turn of the century new york or how to make absolutely sure a secret is kept nothing is spared and yet it isn t gratuitous for all that there s a matter of factness to her prose that prevents it from veering into that shock value territory that lingers unpleasantly over the gory details it s a hard world on display but it feels utterly howlingly real this one reuires a little bit of patience and attention it s not a difficult read but it simmers for a while before the rolling boil but it s a great simmer and the eventual boil is just frosting i may have gotten lost in my own metaphor there i don t want to give any details away with this one you will forgive me but this is a book whose reading experience i feel can be negatively impacted by going in knowing too much all you need to know is that it is a brilliant debut that s not always pretty but is incredibly well craftedi liked this one than The Book of Speculation but i am someone who skews dark potential reader know thyself i predict that The Book of Speculation will appeal to a wider audience but this one is a little ambitious and a lot gritty which is what appeals to me they re both outstanding if you have room in your life for two circussy books you should absolutely read them both if not gauge your mood and assess whether you are feeling magical realism y or bleak realism yi have only one word alphiecome to my blog tokyo-ghoul-vol-5 great contrast and companion to the other circussy book i recently read The Book of Speculation they are two very different treatments of similar themes family seeecrets and the lives of sideshow performers The Book of Speculation has a lightness to it where its magical elements the-body-bears-the-burden-trauma-dissociation-and-disease give it a fairytale feeling despite some potentially bad things happening to its characters this one there is no magic to be found here this is a dark dark world and i do so like the dark this is manhattan and coney island 1895 and the story has four major characters the twins odile and isabelle sylvan and alphie it s a tricksy book and at first it is unclear what connection these characters have to each other as the narrative jumps from one to t other but have faith things wind up tight as can be with many unexpected revelations along the way even the surprises you can half predict will have unexpected details that are shiveringly playing-for-keeps-michael-jordan-and-the-world-he-made-english-edition good it s the-forbidden-groom-texas-titan-romances-english-edition got a sarah waters uality in its breadth of historical detail and parry never shies away from the-lives-of-the-artists-oxford-world-s-classics gruesomely vivid descriptions whether it be the brutal conditions of women consigned to an asylum or the details of the sex trade or waste removal in turn of the century new york or how to make absolutely sure a secret is kept nothing is spared and yet it isn t a-level-chemistry-a-for-ocr-student-book-ocr-a-level gratuitous for all that there s a matter of factness to her prose that prevents it from veering into that shock value territory that lingers unpleasantly over the The Curiosities gory details it s a hard world on display but it feels utterly howlingly real this one reuires a little bit of patience and attention it s not a difficult read but it simmers for a while before the rolling boil but it s a in-the-moonlight-mmf-bisexual-romance-mmf-anthology-edition-english-edition great simmer and the eventual boil is just frosting i may have the-infernal-devices-clockwork-princess gotten lost in my own metaphor there i don t want to i-quattro-accordi-guida-pratica-alla-libert-agrave-personale-un-libro-di-saggezza-tolteca give any details away with this one you will forgive me but this is a book whose reading experience i feel can be negatively impacted by hot-wheels-variations-the-ultimate-guide going in knowing too much all you need to know is that it is a brilliant debut that s not always pretty but is incredibly well craftedi liked this one than The Book of Speculation but i am someone who skews dark potential reader know thyself i predict that The Book of Speculation will appeal to a wider audience but this one is a little ambitious and a lot rechnen-und-textaufgaben-gymnasium-5-klasse-mathematik-textaufgaben-sachaufgaben-band-155 gritty which is what appeals to me they re both outstanding if you have room in your life for two circussy books you should absolutely read them both if not newspaper-design gauge your mood and assess whether you are feeling magical realism y or bleak realism yi have only one word alphiecome to my blog

Leslie Parry æ 1 READ & DOWNLOAD

And sideshow But the Church has burnt to the ground their mother dead in its ashes Now Belle the family’s star has vanished into the bowels of Manhattan leaving Odile alone and desperate to find herA young woman named Alphie awakens to find herself trapped across the river in Blackwell’s Lunatic Asylum sure that her imprisonment is a ruse by her husband’s vile overbearing mother On the ward she meets another young woman of ethereal beauty who does not speak a girl with an extraordinary talent that might save them bothAs these strangers’ live. Holy moly this is one fantastic book Parry created one of the most imaginative stories I ve ever run across truly I ve never read anything like it I m in awe of her I can t fathom how she came up with all this crazy stuff Try to avoid the marketing blurb as it was fun to go into this one almost blind All I knew was it had weird characters a circus and a loony bin oh how I love loony bins I can t believe I almost didn t pick it up because it had church in its title I m seriously sermon intolerant Little did I know that Church is the name of the family and believe me they are far from churchy I m not a fan of historical fiction often too long dense unfunny and boring In fact the tons of description almost turned this book into a 45 star But I have to give it 5 stars because the twisty and far out story will stick in my mind for a looooong time The descriptions are rich and lyrical and man does the writer create a vivid and harrowing picture of the underbelly of New York City in the late 19th century True grit Dickens style But it s slow going because I wanted to pay close attention to every word and it usually took me extra time to absorb it all Also the story that Parry weaves is complicated so it was sometimes work to keep track of everything It s the kind of book that you need to read in long sittings It s not one that you can hop into and out of easily so if you have even a touch of ADD it will be a rough read And be patient For a long while it will seem like three separate stories that cannot possibly come together I promise that things will eventually blendThis book is super dark and atmospheric with lots of bizarre and disturbing images not horror genre stuff though The characters are edgy and freaky complex and earnest strong and sad These victims are on a mission and they don t complain about their fate which makes them even endearing Get ready for sualid and bleak settings and lives and get ready for some true villains There are lots of secrets that slowly unravel and shock you one in particular will blow your socks off Here is the first paragraph of the Prologue It sure grabbed me I haven t been able to speak since I was seventeen years old Some people believed that because of this I d be able to keep a secret They believed I could hear all manner of tales and confessions and repeat nothing Perhaps they believe that if I cannot speak I cannot listen or remember or even think for myself that I am in essence invisible That I will stay silent foreverI m afraid they are mistaken I can t believe this is a debut Parry must have been an extraordinary storyteller in a past life You better believe I ll be waiting impatiently for her next book Meanwhile I want to go inside her head It might be plenty scary in there but I don t care the adventure will be so worth the fright


10 thoughts on “Church of Marvels

  1. says:

    put it on a t shirt 2015 is officially the year of spectacular carnivalsideshow debut novels by womenthis is a great contrast and companion to the other circussy book i recently read The Book of Speculation they are two very

  2. says:

    All great shows she told me when I was little and still learning to flex the tiny muscles in my esophagus depend on the most ordinary objects We can be a weary cynical lot—we grow old and see only what suits us and what i

  3. says:

    When I first started reading this I found it hard to follow four different story lines and I was confused couldn't figure out what was going on nor who was who My advice is to just enjoy the story let it lead where it takes

  4. says:

    Holy moly this is one fantastic book Parry created one of the most imaginative stories I’ve ever run across;

  5. says:

    I lOVED Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry Set in the New York at the turn of the century this stroy is cleverly written and such an engaging novel full of twists and turns with complex characters and a plot that is dark and gritty Just my kind of story My favourite thing about this novel was the wonderful sense of time and place New York City at the turn of the century was not for the faint hearted by all acc

  6. says:

    Contortionists sword swallowers a 4 legged human a half male half female freak Welcome to the church of marvels A carnival sideshow at the turn of the century It's a gritty story where 4 lives converge through mysterious passages underground opium societies and an asylum for the mentally ill It's a mystery within a mystery and a story so outlandishly shocking it's fascinating A little slow paced at times but l

  7. says:

    This is not a happy Circus tale It is also not a perfectly written novel Know thisThe Church of Marvels is freaking fantastic The story is so so good That's why I'm giving it 5 stars I'm not going to say much about this one in fear of spoiling it for the reader I just wanted to say that even though it takes time to develop and might seem confusing it all comes together at the end and has one of the best epilog

  8. says:

    I like stories set in old New York and I loved this book from the very first sentence of the prologue This is an amazing first book by

  9. says:

    There's something alluring about a story that tells of seemingly disparate individuals each of whom have there own history and day to day life challenges There's something alluring knowing that their lives will converge at some point leaving you wondering what impact they will have on each other This is one of those stories It wasn't just the discovery of how they would meet that grabbed me The writing pulled me in from the first sentences

  10. says:

    Yup this is one crazy book 19th century carnivals freak shows and so much In the beginning there are three different stories that eventually come together A feat this author delivered in an extraordinary way I loved the feel of the dark atmosphere but also felt it was overly descriptive This is a book that reuires one to pay attention Not only was I taken back and forth in time but also piecing together how the characters come together I

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