Coney Island, 1911: Coralie Sardie is the daughter of a self-proclaimed scientist and professor who acts as the impresario of The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a boardwalk freak show offering amazement and entertainment to the masses. An extraordinary swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid alongside performers like the Wolfman, the Butterfly Girl,and a 100 year old turtle, in her father's "museum". She swims regularly in New York's Hudson River, and one night stumbles upon a striking young man alone in the woods photographing moon-lit trees. From that moment, Coralie knows her life will never be the same.
The dashing photographer Coralie spies is Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his father's Lower East Side Orthodox community. As Eddie photographs the devastation on the streets of New York following the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, he becomes embroiled in the mystery behind a young woman's disappearance and the dispute between factory owners and labourers. In the tumultuous times that characterized life in New York between the world wars, Coralie and Eddie's lives come crashing together in Alice Hoffman's mesmerizing, imaginative, and romantic new novel.
About the Author
Alice Hoffman has published a total of twenty-eight works of fiction. Her novel, Here on Earth, was an Oprah Book Club choice. Practical Magic was made into a Warner film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Hoffman’s work has been published in more than twenty translations and more than one hundred foreign editions. She currently lives in Boston and New York.
Read Caroline Baum's Review
The early twentieth century in New York attracted its fair share of hucksters and opportunists according to Alice Hoffmann, who did extensive research to write this colourful blend of s history and romance. She certainly knows how to bring Coney Island in 1911 to life, with its strange mixture of émigrés and freak show artists, its shady characters and its idealists.
At the heart of her story are Coralie, an exceptional swimmer who appears in her father’s museum as a mermaid and Eddie, a young Russian Jewish immigrant who witnesses the horrors of a factory fire and becomes involved in the mystery of a young woman’s disappearance. Hoffman fans will not be disappointed: this is a potent, intense mix of drama and mystery set against the tawdry effects of Coney Island.
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 1st March 2014
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3
Weight (kg): 0.51