What perplexes me is why the story of Topsy's execution has inspired novelists. Gruen mentions it in her author's notes or interview in the back and Alice Hoffman mentioned it when she did her reading for The Red Garden. I really cannot wrap my brain around hearing a disturbing account of an animal's public death and somehow using that as a springboard for such a shallow novel.
Regardless of the bizarre inspiration, I guess I never saw the Jacob/Marlena spark and became increasingly less interested in the plot of the novel as it plodded forward with the optimism of an unemployment line.
My favorite part of the book was the inclusion of photographs from circuses. My suggestion if you are interested in the circus element is to visit Sarasota and go to the Ringling museum. It is a fantastic mansion, art museum, garden, and circus museum and a lot more interesting than the novel. I visited in the 8th grade and still find it probably one of the best museums I've been to.
|Let's not talk about the amount of skin cancer and Sun-In this trip probably involved. Let me just say I have still not mastered the art of posing with my short friends.|
|I blog about books, crafts, educational ideas, food, and my life. You can subscribe to my RSS feed or by email.|