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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Small of Stature...Larger Than Life

I recently had the pleasure of reading yet another remarkable book. Again within the pages I was taken back in time, much further back than the last book I chatted with you about, back to the late1800's-1900's as a matter of fact. I was transported to a time when things we simply accept were looked upon with wonder and amazement...the world that Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump (Vinnie) lived in.

Who was Vinnie? She was a proportionate dwarf, a performer for none other than P.T. Barnum (well the most well known employer, she worked prior to that on a show boat, and a few times in her own troop). However over and above that, Vinnie was a woman....a very strong, outspoken, proud woman, with a hidden fragility that haunted her her entire life. I did not even know that Vinnie existed until I had the pleasure of opening the book by author Melanie Benjamin (author of Alice I Have of the most delightful books I have had the pleasure of reading). I had eagerly awaited this novel as I had become acquainted with Melanie, upon learning of her first book, on Facebook...she is so grand at communicating with her readers/fans. As soon as I could come up with the funds, I ordered the book Mrs. Tom Thumb and eagerly set upon the journey that was laid out for me starting with page one. 

 "...Now, in this jubilant new novel, Benjamin shines a dazzling spotlight on another fascinating female figure whose story has never fully been told: a woman who became a nineteenth century icon and inspiration—and whose most daunting limitation became her greatest strength.

"Never would I allow my size to define me. Instead, I would define it."

She was only two-foot eight-inches tall, but her legend reaches out to us more than a century later. As a child, Mercy Lavinia "Vinnie" Bump was encouraged to live a life hidden away from the public. Instead, she reached out to the immortal impresario P. T. Barnum, married the tiny superstar General Tom Thumb in the wedding of the century, and transformed into the world's most unexpected celebrity." *Via 

Melanie Benjamin
With the very first paragraph I was drawn in by Vinnie told from her very own point of view. Melanie Benjamin has the magical touch of capturing the emotion and spirit of the person she is writing about and making the reader believe that the words on the page are indeed that of the subject. As the story and the adventure drew me in,it made me eager to learn more! A mixture of surprises, laughter, shock and tears both from joy and sorrow, being a part of Vinnie's world was truly a pleasure.*to see more photos join me at the Facebook Fan over to your right.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a delightful and unusual book, Ruby. Thank you for sharing it with us! Her life must have been intriguing to say the least!

    Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou


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