I hope to make this a regular feature on Books, Bones & Buffy, and if all goes well, I plan to recommend at least one newly released book per week that will be available at your local bookstore or library. Trust me, this book is going to be big (at least, it should be!).
This week, The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin hits stores, today actually. I do not read a lot of historical fiction, but I do love anything to do with circuses or little people, and this book has lots of both. The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb tells the story of Mercy Lavinia “Vinnie” Bump, the real-life two-foot eight-inches tall woman who joined P.T. Barnum’s famous circus and married the celebrity little person General Tom Thumb. The reviews I’ve read promise that you’ll fall in love with this tiny woman and her giant adventures.
Advance praise for The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb:
“Benjamin handles the era of mid-nineteenth-century America like a native, telling a walloping good story about a tiny person with the soul of a giant. The lovely Lavinia Bump once again comes alive, and we’re all the richer because of it.”—Ellen Bryson, author of The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno
“Vinnie Bump is one of the most engaging characters to come along in a while. Nineteenth-century women had few options; Vinnie had fewer yet. Melanie Benjamin renders her deeply human in a no-nonsense Olive Kitteridge sort of way. Readers will not soon forget her. I know I won’t.”—Johanna Moran, author of The Wives of Henry Oades
“Lavinia Warren was only thirty-two inches tall, but in Melanie Benjamin’s The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb she soars above the tumult of Gilded Age America. Benjamin makes her a woman of courage and refinement with an itch for adventure and ambitions that far outstrip her size. I enjoyed every minute I spent with Vinnie in this exuberant, absorbing, elegantly written novel.”—Carol Wallace, author of Leaving Van Gogh
“By turns heart-rending and thrilling, this big-hearted book recounts a fictionalized life of this most extraordinary of women in prose that is lush and details that are meticulously researched. I loved this book.”—Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Ape House and Water for Elephants