The story of the great love of Harry Houdini and his wife Bess. They met young in Coney Island when he was just beginning his way as illusionist, artist, and magician. She was an artist as well, singing and dancing in Floral Sisters trio. The moment they met changed their lives forever. Harry and Bess were more than husband and wife; they were best friends, soulmates, and business partners. They invented their tricks and went through life together.
The novel follows two periods. The first part of the story is about Harry and Bess as they take their first steps as a couple and as performers. Their first shows at the small circus and struggles to be noticed. We see their tricks develop and getting more complex. Moreover, how success affects their relationship.
The other part of the novel follows Bess after Harry’s death. Bess desperately looking for clues to find the message he promised to send her from the afterworld. The search takes Bess to most shocking discoveries. Apparently, Harry had secrets of his own and the message he left Bess leads her to one of the greatest presents of all.
I loved the magical atmosphere of circus and Houdini’s performances. But I wish there were more of their shows in the book. I think the vibe of magic shows in the early years of 20’s century is very captivating. I love everything that has to do with circus and illusionists. I wouldn’t mind the book to be longer so it would open the curtain even more to behind the scenes.
The plot was attention-grabbing and mysterious. You can easily read the book in one sitting. Harry and Bess were truly a great, loving couple. The story of their life was charming.
Although in general, it was a good story, the book lacked some kind of spark or a soul to me. I couldn’t connect to the characters the way I wanted, and I wanted so much! They stayed as very interesting historical figures, without getting too deep in my heart. so, it’s disappointed. I love to get attached to the characters… haha
P.S. Can you suggest me other circus-related novels? I’ve already read Water for the Elephants, The Night Circus and Caraval.