Review: The Little Shadows

Why I picked it: Canadian authors hold a special place in my heart.  I love the writing, the storytelling.  I enjoyed Good to a Fault and wanted to read another novel by the author.  If only to read her magic with words.

A book discussion:  Shelleyrae from Book'd Out and I read this one together, each asking three questions about the book.  You will find my answers to her questions below, click to her blog to read her answers to my questions.

Synopsis: The Little Shadows follows three sisters into the backstage world of Polite Vaudeville before and during the First World War. Overseen by their fond but barely coping Mama, the sisters (Aurora, Clover and joyous, headstrong Bella) set out to make their living as a singing act after the untimely death of their father. With little in their favour save youth and hope, the sisters navigate their way to adulthood among a cast of extraordinary charmers, charlatans, ruffians and impresarios—and once in a rare while, a true star with transcendent gifts. From the brightly lit stage into the little shadows that lurk behind the curtain, the art of vaudeville—in all its variety, madness, melodrama, hilarity and sorrow—echoes the art of life itself.

Type: fiction

Quick Take: First let me say I adore, yes adore, Endicott's writing.  What is it about Canadian authors, they have a way with words.

If you haven't read this book yet, I might suggest visiting the author's website before you start the novel... or maybe after you have read 20-30 pages.  The companion material is very helpful (maps, historical information about Vaudeville).

I don't love the circus or variety shows so reading a book with Vaudeville reading as a main character was a stretch for me. The characters are developed so well, their personalities slowly unfold as the girls mature.  The mother of these three girls will keep you on your toes!  The story bounces back and forth from the life of entertaining, the struggles of Vaudeville and watching three young girl deal with life and the joys of entertaining.

Three Questions: 

While I was fascinated by the history of Vaudeville I think the author's research overshadowed the plot. Do you feel the same way?  I do agree!  There was a lot of details in this novel and if I'm honest... I'm not a circus/vaudeville kind of gal.  This made parts of the book feel long. 

Which of the three sisters did you like best, Aurora, Clover or Belle? Why? The sisters reminded me a bit of the Bennett sisters from Pride and Prejudice.  The eldest looking for attention and to do the right thing.  Belle, the youngest keeping herself entertained among the performers.  The costumes.  I actually didn't have a favorite but I can't imagine the book without each of them.  They were so different, yet similar.

Did you think the sisters made the right decision in the epilogue? Can I say I mostly agree? How's that for a cliffhanger... I don't know how to answer this question without saying what happens.

Click here to read Shelleyrae's review and answers to my questions for her.

Rating: 3 stars
Source: Personal Copy