For anyone who loves the historical novels of Sara Gruen, Geraldine Brooks, and E. L. Doctorow, a barnstorming tale of an irrepressible, brawling, bawdy era and the remarkable woman who had the courage to match the unique spirit of America’s Gilded Age.
She was only two feet, eight inches tall, but more than a century later, her legend reaches out to us. As a child, Mercy Lavinia “Vinnie” Warren Bump was encouraged to live a life hidden away from the public. Instead, she reached out to the immortal impresario P. T. Barnum, married the tiny superstar General Tom Thumb in the wedding of the century, and became the world’s most unexpected celebrity. Vinnie’s wedding captivated the nation, preempted coverage of the Civil War, and even ushered her into the White House. But her fame also endangered the person she prized most: her similarly sized sister, Minnie, a gentle soul unable to escape the glare of Vinnie’s spotlight. A barnstorming novel of the Gilded Age, The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb is the irresistible epic of a heroine who conquered the country with a heart as big as her dreams—and whose story will surely win over yours.
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BONUS: This edition contains a timeline, an interview with Melanie Benjamin, and an excerpt from Melanie Benjamin's Alice I Have Been.
Mercy Lavinia "Vinnie" Warren Bump, the diminutive wife of Gen. Tom Thumb, narrates her life story in this vivacious fictionalized autobiography that takes her from a small New England town to a seedy Mississippi showboat and eventually into the entourage of the impresario P.T. Barnum. Born with proportionate dwarfism, Vinnie, a "perfect woman in miniature," rejects a career as a schoolteacher in favor of show business, eventually finding an intellectual soul mate in Barnum and international fame that leads her into the opulence of New York society and meetings with heads of state from the White House to Europe and India. Benjamin (Alice I Have Been) centers the latter half of her tale around Vinnie and Barnum's odd-couple friendship and touchy business relationship, sometimes glossing frustratingly over Vinnie's own adventures a three-year tour of Australia and Asia is given only a few pages and leaving the last 40 years of her life untold. But the smart and unyieldingly ladylike Vinnie emerges as an effervescent narrator with a love of life and a grand story worth the price of admission.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Not worth the time or money
I purchased this book after reading and thoroughly enjoying "The Aviator's Wife". Unfortunately this book just does not leave me appreciating an historical character in the same way. Vinnie Warren comes off as cold, hard, conceited and entirely self-centered in this novel. While I did appreciate the way in which the novel was written, I think the main character could have been more thoroughly developed. I do not like to spend money on a book and not finish it or I would have stopped well before I reached the midpoint.
Mrs Tom Thumb
Loved it. I wish it was her entire life story, but I understand why it had to end when it did.