Thanks to Litfuse for providing this book in exchange for my honest review.
This was such a neat concept for a book! I've had a growing interest in the World Fair's since we've moved close to the location of one--Seattle. I loved the excitement and grandeur of it all that Deeanne Gist was able to infuse into the book itself. She even included pictures of the actual Chicago World's Fair. It was so fun to see them, especially since most of the buildings did not survive.
Cullen McNamara is like a fish out of water in his own environment. So much so, that it was hard to connect in the beginning of the book for me. Once he got to the World's Fair, he seemed to really click as a character for me. I felt like that is where I could really connect to and understand him.
I loved Della. She was a woman with a purpose working for a cause she believed in. Not that cause was without struggle. I loved seeing how far we've come in regards to deafness but in some ways it was interesting to see how some things have not changed. It seems there is always a debate about what's "best" in regards to educating or raising deaf children.
This was a beautiful love story written in a magical setting. I think I will have to do some more reading about the Chicago World Fair. I very much enjoyed my "visit" via this book.
More about It Happened at the Fair:
A transporting historical novel about a promising young inventor, his struggle with loss, and the attractive teacher who changes his life, all set against the razzle-dazzle of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.
Gambling everything, including the family farm, Cullen McNamara travels to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with his most recent invention. But the noise in the Fair's Machinery Palace makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading.
The young teacher is reluctant to participate, and Cullen has trouble keeping his mind on his lessons while intently watching her lips. Like the newly invented Ferris Wheel, he is caught in a whirl between his girl back home, his dreams as an inventor, and his unexpected attraction to his new tutor. Can he keep his feet on the ground, or will he be carried away?
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Deeanne Gist---known to her family, friends, and fans as Dee---has rocketed up bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her very fun, very original historicals. She has received numerous RITA nominations, two consecutive Christy Awards, and rave reviews. Deeanne has a background in education and journalism and a degree from Texas A&M. She has written for People, Parents, and Parenting. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and has four grown children. She has a very active online community on her website atIWantHerBook.com and atFacebook.com/DeesFriends.