For fans of Orphan Train and Water for Elephants, a compelling historical novel from “one of the best authors of women’s fiction” (Library Journal). Set against the turbulent backdrop of American Vaudeville, four sisters embark on an unexpected adventure—and a last-ditch effort to save their family.
It’s 1919, and the Turners are barely scraping by. When their father loses his job, their irrepressible mother decides that vaudeville is their best chance to make the rent—and create a more exciting life for herself in the process.
Traveling by train from town to town, teenagers Gert, Winnie, and Kit, and recent widow Nell soon find a new kind of freedom in the company of performers who are as diverse as their acts. There is a seamier side to the business, however, and the young women face dangers and turns of fate they never could have anticipated. Heartwarming and surprising, The Tumbling Turner Sisters is ultimately a story of awakening—to unexpected possibilities, to love and heartbreak, and to the dawn of a new American era.
In Fay's latest novel, four sisters take to the road in pursuit of vaudeville fame and fortune, but soon find the journey bringing them closer to each other and their own personal desires than it does to riches and celebrity. When their father suffers an injury that leaves his dominant hand useless, Nell, Gert, Winnie, and Kit give in to their mother's hopes of developing a tumbling act that will help them make a name for themselves in vaudeville and save the family from eviction. Once on the road, the young women find love and strength in the eye-opening world outside Johnson City, N.Y. But just as the Tumbling Turners are reaching their peak, tragedy strikes and forces the family to reassess their dreams. All four Turner daughters and their mother are forces to be reckoned with; these women are keen to shake off the restrictions of their times, and they do so with relish when the opportunity comes about through performing. Their lively personalities bring to life Fay's outlandishly enjoyable premise. With humor, affection, ambition, and a talent for weaving in history, Fay brings the world of 1910s vaudeville vividly to life through the travails of the tenacious Turner family.