Thursday, May 9, 2013

It Happened At The Fair

Book Review

In 1893 the city of Chicago was host to a World’s Fair. I was aware that this event had happened; but I knew little about it. It Happened At The Fair is a novel by Deeanne Gist set at this time and place. One of my favorite parts of the novel was the beautiful illustrations that portrayed different venues and exhibits. Also, Gist’s detailed descriptions of the event give you a front row seat, covering the restaurants, exhibits and even the landscaping of this tribute to American ingenuity. I found the entire extravaganza of this World’s Fair to be fascinating.

The book tells the story of a young farmer who had invented an automatic sprinkler system and a woman who was a teacher of the deaf. The inventor needs to decide if he will stick with the girl back home or choose the lovely teacher. I could see right away which way he should go and fortunately, in the end, he did see things my way and chose the right woman to marry.

The love story was sweet; but I loved the historical details of this well-researched book. Not only is it an interesting account of the Chicago World’s Fair; but the author also touches on fire fighting and prevention during this time period. When a fire breaks out at the fair; it becomes obvious that firemen are tragically handicapped. I checked on dates and found the Great Chicago Fire had broken out in 1871, just 22 years earlier. Fire fighting and prevention were a big deal in this city. The book also showcased the cutting edge methods of teaching the deaf in the late 1800’s that to me seemed harsh. Gist also mentions the national financial panic occurring at the time of the fair, which had parallels with today.

This story is good and there is much to enjoy. For me, after completing the book, I felt like I had visited the Chicago World’s Fair. Rather than presenting boring historical details, Gist brings you right into the setting. I found this fascinating. I received this book from the publisher in return for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Buy the Book for $12.11

About the Book

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?

About the Author

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 at and at

Deeanne Gist is celebrating the release of It Happened at the Fair with an iPad Mini Giveaway and a Live Author Chat Webcast event {5/22}!

  One "fair" winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A $25 iTunes gift card
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 21st. Winner will be announced at the "It Happened at the Fair" Live Webcast Event on May 22nd. Connect with Deeanne for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Deeanne will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books and fun gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of It Happened at the Fair and join Deeanne and friends on the evening of May 22nd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 22nd!

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