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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In her newest novel, Deeanne Gist takes readers on a sensorial tour of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and all of its many wonders. No building was left unexplored or corridor investigated. Such a rich landscape requires characters that are complex and equally intriguing, and on this Deeanne does not disappoint. Cullen and Della are delightfully entertaining with their quirky idiosyncrasies and earnest attempts to resist the mounting attraction between them, compounded by their reactions to situational dilemmas during their excursions around the fair. Layered in to the adventure is a story of profound lose and sacrifice that is tantalizingly disclosed as each chapter is probed and perused. Although Della is an enchanting heroine, it is Cullen’s past and struggles over the future that grip readers and has us championing his success and personal victory. With a unique storyline and thrilling setting, It Happened at the Fair is another hard earned plume in Mrs Gist’s hat.