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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By NMwritergal on 01-21-17
Really interesting read with great characters...
...and description of the era and especially the vaudeville circuit, which I knew little about.
Interesting storyline and I was even more impressed because one of the narrators (Gert) was kind of unlikeable (usually when there's an unlikable main character, I don't enjoy the book) yet I was still interested and still rooting for her. Fay wrote enough nuance into Gert that even though she was often unpleasant, I understood why and could sympathize.
Winnie (the other main sister) was likeable and interesting.
Nell (oldest sister) was well developed as seen through Winnie's and Gert's eyes. Kit, the youngest sister was completely underdeveloped (sadly). The mother (the one you love to hate) was well done. Would have liked a little more of the father, though.
I was never bored and always interested in what would happen next. Bad things happen, horrible things happen but the book is not depressing--it takes some writing chops to pull that off.
Loved the epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter.
Also two very good audio performers!