Alice Hoffman has a new book out next week and I am more than a little excited for it. Not only because it’s a book by Alice Hoffman – I loved The Dovekeepers – but the plot hits on some history subjects that really pique my interest, namely New York City at the turn of the last century and side show/circus weirdness (You really need to watch the 1932 movie Freaks. Trust me on this).
The Museum of Extraordinary Things is about Coralie Sardie, a girl who spends her days as the mermaid in her father’s curiosity museum on the Coney Island boardwalk. When she meets a photographer named Eddie Cohen, they both get tangled up in the fall-out of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. The book also promises to include “bootleggers, heiresses, thugs, and idealists,” which all seem pretty necessary to me.
In the meantime, go watch Freaks and check out some the circus/sideshow/curiosity items from our collection: