The Tumbling Turner Sisters by Juliette Fay
A Novel

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Winnie and Gert alternate as first-person narrators, but their voices are virtually indistinguishable. Fay handles the story’s issues of racial and ethnic prejudice with a gingerliness which verges on anachronism, and contemporary locutions, like “move on with her life,” further dispel the 1919 atmosphere.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

For fans of Orphan Train and Water for Elephants, a compelling historical novel from “one of the best authors of women’s fiction” (Library Journal). Set against the turbulent backdrop of American Vaudeville, four sisters embark on an unexpected adventure—and a last-ditch effort to save their family.

It’s 1919, and the Turners are barely scraping by. When their father loses his job, their irrepressible mother decides that vaudeville is their best chance to make the rent—and create a more exciting life for herself in the process.

Traveling by train from town to town, teenagers Gert, Winnie, and Kit, and recent widow Nell soon find a new kind of freedom in the company of performers who are as diverse as their acts. There is a seamier side to the business, however, and the young women face dangers and turns of fate they never could have anticipated. Heartwarming and surprising, The Tumbling Turner Sisters is ultimately a story of awakening—to unexpected possibilities, to love and heartbreak, and to the dawn of a new American era.
 

About Juliette Fay

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JULIETTE FAY earned her BA from Boston College and an MA from Harvard University. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and four children.
 
Published June 14, 2016 by Gallery Books. 353 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Tumbling Turner Sisters
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Below average
on Mar 17 2016

Winnie and Gert alternate as first-person narrators, but their voices are virtually indistinguishable. Fay handles the story’s issues of racial and ethnic prejudice with a gingerliness which verges on anachronism, and contemporary locutions, like “move on with her life,” further dispel the 1919 atmosphere.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on May 28 2018

Their lively personalities bring to life Fay’s outlandishly enjoyable premise. With humor, affection, ambition, and a talent for weaving in history, Fay brings the world of 1910s vaudeville vividly to life through the travails of the tenacious Turner family.

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Reader Rating for The Tumbling Turner Sisters
88%

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