Sunday 18 October 2015


Title: Church Of Marvels
Author: Leslie Parry
Publisher: John Murray Press
Release Date: 4th June 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
A ravishing first novel, set in vibrant, tumultuous turn-of-the-century New York City, where the lives of four outsiders become entwined, bringing irrevocable change to them all

New York, 1895. Sylvan Threadgill, a night soiler cleaning out the privies behind the tenement houses, finds an abandoned newborn baby in the muck. An orphan himself, Sylvan rescues the child, determined to find where she belongs.

Odile Church and her beautiful sister, Belle, were raised amid the applause and magical pageantry of The Church of Marvels, their mother’s spectacular Coney Island sideshow. But the Church has burnt to the ground, their mother dead in its ashes. Now Belle, the family’s star, has vanished into the bowels of Manhattan, leaving Odile alone and desperate to find her.

A young woman named Alphie awakens to find herself trapped across the river in Blackwell’s Lunatic Asylum—sure that her imprisonment is a ruse by her husband’s vile, overbearing mother. On the ward she meets another young woman of ethereal beauty who does not speak, a girl with an extraordinary talent that might save them both.

As these strangers’ lives become increasingly connected, their stories and secrets unfold. Moving from the Coney Island seashore to the tenement-studded streets of the Lower East Side, a spectacular human circus to a brutal, terrifying asylum, Church of Marvels takes readers back to turn-of-the-century New York—a city of hardship and dreams, love and loneliness, hope and danger. In magnetic, luminous prose, Leslie Parry offers a richly atmospheric vision of the past in a narrative of astonishing beauty, full of wondrous enchantments?a marvelous debut that will leave readers breathless.

Goodreads Link

After reading an excerpt in the Buzz Books Sampler, I was really looking forward to reading the whole book. I loved the excerpt and it certainly captured my interest.

I received a free e-copy of this one from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
There are two covers for this title, I have chosen to use the cover I like the most. This cover features the title in a bold "carnival" like style font, and has various circus performers around the cover. Would this cover make me pick up the book in a bookstore? Yes, I think I would definitely pick this one up to read the blurb and learn more about this title.
So I had read an excerpt from this book in the Book Buzz Sampler, a great way of learning about up coming titles. I really loved the sound of the description (blurb), it sounded like something that I would really enjoy. I was highly anticipating reading the book after reading the excerpt in the Buzz Books Sampler. I felt my interest was already really captured and I wanted to know what would happen to the new born baby I read about in the sampler.
Sadly, I ended up not finishing this book, which was odd as I was really up for reading the book. I still really wanted to know what became of the baby that was found. I did attempt to read the book on two separate occasions. Sadly the book plot didn't move fast enough, felt overly wordy and maybe a little too descriptive - to the point that I was at the stage where I didn't want to pick up my tablet and read so I had to DNF it. I decided to still feature this book on my blog as it is not everyone has the same reading tastes. Admittedly I do not read as many titles in the literary fiction genre. I hope my review doesn't totally put anyone off giving this book a go to see if they like the book. 
So did I enjoy the book? Sadly no.
Would I recommend the book? Well, I can only give my own opinion, the blurb sounded so good, but unfortunately it just wasn't for me.
Would I want to read another book if this was a series? Truthfully, no.
Would I want to read other titles by this author? I wouldn't read another title by this author within the literary fiction genre.

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