The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A big book about a small lady. A novel based loosely on facts this is the life story of a tiny woman - Lavinia Warren Bump or Vinnie, just 28" high and perfectly proportioned born to poor farmers in pre civil war America who decides early on in life not to let her lack of height define her but to use it to give her an exciting life which helps her escape the constraints of small town life, see the world and meet many people, although finding true love remains very elusive.
She succeeds by becoming a famous celebrity, marries another famous small person General Tom Thumb and travels the world. She is a feisty believeable character and the author has done well in both imagining the problems faced by adults of such small size, has researched the history of the era immaculately, especially entertainment and celebrity in the mid 1800s. There is a little bit of repetitiveness in parts and I think the book may have benefited from being about 30 pages shorter and thus a little tighter but all in all was a very engaging read.
Tinged with some real sadness I liked Vinnie and loved her courage and her story, even though most of it is imagined as so little was documented about her unusual life. I would recommend the book to anyone who enjoyed The Girls and who likes reading about the history of entertainment in USA.
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