In 1870 the celebrated midget General Tom Thumb and his troupe are touring Australia. While in Melbourne, Tom Thumb is rescued from the Yarra River by an impoverished governess, Mary Ann. She is hired by the troupe, but soon realises that relationships between the little people and their entourage are far from harmonious.
When it becomes clear to everyone that Mary Ann is pregnant, Tom Thumb and his wife hatch a plan that appears to provide her child with a secure future. Others among the touring performers are less happy with these developments, however, and Mary Ann starts to wonder just whom she can trust. As the pregnancy proceeds, Mary Ann's life and that of her child seem increasingly in danger.
This gripping historical novel is full of strange showbiz folk and has all the colour and flair of the circus, complete with sideshows starring the little people themselves. Reminiscent of the fantastical tales of Angela Carter and early Peter Carey, and of Sara Gruen's bestselling Water for Elephants, Little People will charm and beguile you.
‘A pure delight – I fell in love with this glorious novel from the very first page. Little People is vibrant storytelling at its charismatic best.’ — Toni Jordan
'Set in a fascinating milieu ... a most enjoyable read.' — Bookseller and Publisher
About the Author
Jane Sullivan was the winner of the inaugural Australian Human Rights Award for journalism. At present she writes a Saturday column and features about books and writing for The Age. Her first novel was The White Star and her second novel, Little People, was shortlisted in the CAL-Scribe Fiction Prize.