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The Candlelit Menagerie: A Novel de Caraline…
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The Candlelit Menagerie: A Novel (edició 2021)

de Caraline Brown (Autor)

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For fans of The Greatest Showman and Water for Elephants, The Candlelit Menagerie grabs hold and pulls readers into the dim halls of the exotic animal emporiums of London, over two centuries ago.   Set in late eighteenth-century London, this haunting debut novel features Lillian, a freakishly tall woman who struggles to fit into society because of her size and desire to wear trousers. Each morning, she wakes in her tiny maid's room in a too-small bed to the sound of a lion roaring nearby, on the Strand. One day, she investigates the sound and discovers a candlelit exotic animal emporium. When she meets the lion, there is an instant bond. At first, Lillian is repulsed by the stench and squalor, but there, in the menagerie, Lillian finds her natural home taking care of and befriending wild animals brought from around the world, stolen from their habitats, misfits like her. The British empire had become the dominate colonial power, plundering resources across the ocean, including humans and animals, and bringing them to England's shores for the first time to the amusement of the public. The menagerie, under Lillian's management, becomes a successful attraction. It is her life's mission. She even marries the veterinarian's single-minded apprentice. But when her unborn baby dies in an accident, she is given a chimpanzee to raise as her own child, upending the order of even Lillian's unusual existence.   Told in a simple, mesmerizing voice, The Candlelit Menagerie is intensely atmospheric and transporting. This stunning debut will put Caraline Brown at the forefront of the list of new novelists to watch.  … (més)
Membre:ScrantonLibrarym
Títol:The Candlelit Menagerie: A Novel
Autors:Caraline Brown (Autor)
Informació:Arcade (2021), 312 pages
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The Candlelit Menagerie: A Novel de Caraline Brown

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An absorbing and captivating story that transports the reader deep into the gritty, seedier side of 18th Century London. A tale likely to appeal to fans of the Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants or Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, as well as historical fiction enthusiasts.

Thank you to Caraline Brown, Skyhorse Publishing, and NetGalley for providing an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Candlelit Menagerie is the strange and beautiful tale of Lillian, an oddly tall and deeply misunderstood young woman (“I see a woman trapped, caged if you like . . .”) who is irresistibly drawn to Grady’s Menagerie after many nights of hearing the lion’s roaring carry to her on the wind as she lay each evening in her too-short bed.

Plucking up the courage to visit Grady’s, she meets Grady himself, who is quite proud of his namesake menagerie, and who can’t help but notice the natural way Lillian has with the animals. An excellent reader of people, Grady offers Lillian everything she could want in a job (had she been able to ask first): A place to live and a bed that’s perfectly long enough for her frame, a job at the menagerie taking care of the animals, as well as an offer to cut her hair short and to wear trousers if she likes.

Lilllian soon meets John Button, the veterinarian’s apprentice, when he’s called to treat Leonidas (the lion), who has an infected tooth. The two are keen on each other from the start, as Lillian rarely meets men as tall as she, and Button loves that he can look straight into her eyes, without the awkward hovering that normally results when he bends to speak to smaller woman.

A magical and spell-binding yarn from a debuting author that I couldn’t put down, even though at times the storylines made me a bit uncomfortable. It is for this reason I am awarding four stars instead of five, however I simply cannot question that Ms. Brown excellently portrays the tough yet spirited essence of London in the late 1700’s. Brown’s writing style is magnetic and doesn’t strive to sweep the untidy bits of history under the table. To quote Lillian, “I believe it is important that ordinary people can see with their own eyes that we share the earth with extraordinary creatures that live and breathe.” History, like animals trapped in cages, isn’t always pretty, yet it’s important that we listen – and oh what a fantastic way to “listen” this novel is!

#TheCandlelit Menagerie
#CaralineBrown
#SkyhorsePublishing
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  Desiree_Reads | Aug 31, 2021 |
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For fans of The Greatest Showman and Water for Elephants, The Candlelit Menagerie grabs hold and pulls readers into the dim halls of the exotic animal emporiums of London, over two centuries ago.   Set in late eighteenth-century London, this haunting debut novel features Lillian, a freakishly tall woman who struggles to fit into society because of her size and desire to wear trousers. Each morning, she wakes in her tiny maid's room in a too-small bed to the sound of a lion roaring nearby, on the Strand. One day, she investigates the sound and discovers a candlelit exotic animal emporium. When she meets the lion, there is an instant bond. At first, Lillian is repulsed by the stench and squalor, but there, in the menagerie, Lillian finds her natural home taking care of and befriending wild animals brought from around the world, stolen from their habitats, misfits like her. The British empire had become the dominate colonial power, plundering resources across the ocean, including humans and animals, and bringing them to England's shores for the first time to the amusement of the public. The menagerie, under Lillian's management, becomes a successful attraction. It is her life's mission. She even marries the veterinarian's single-minded apprentice. But when her unborn baby dies in an accident, she is given a chimpanzee to raise as her own child, upending the order of even Lillian's unusual existence.   Told in a simple, mesmerizing voice, The Candlelit Menagerie is intensely atmospheric and transporting. This stunning debut will put Caraline Brown at the forefront of the list of new novelists to watch.  

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