Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the sinister impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a Coney Island freak show that thrills the masses. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father's museum, alongside performers like the Wolfman and the Butterfly Girl. One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man taking pictures of moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson River.
The dashing photographer is Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his community and his job as a tailor's apprentice. When Eddie photographs the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, he becomes embroiled in the mystery behind a young woman's disappearance. And he ignites the heart of Coralie. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
This was a book I found extremely appealing in concept and yet fell short. The main focus seems to be more of portraying the setting and point in history rather than telling a story. Yes, we get to see how Coralie and Eddie change and how they escape their previous lives, but they felt like two independent characters forced together. I also thought the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory would take greater predominance in the story. Rather, it was the setup for a missing person’s case although the historical perspective was interesting.
On the one hand I finished the book and had some enjoyment out of it, but on the other it just was quite different than what I felt the summary portrayed it being. This book will appeal to people who are interested in historical New York and would enjoy a glimpse into that world.
Warning: Contains some violence and references to sexual content.
Rating: 3 stars!
Who should read it? Fans of historical New York.