The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumbby Benjamin, Melanie
Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump was born in Massachusetts in 1841. An average-sized baby, she reaches the height of 32 inches as an adult. Her parents wish to shelter Vinnie and her smaller sister, Minnie, from the world and attempt to keep the young women safely at home. Vinnie becomes a school teacher at age 16 and teaches at the local school. Looking for adventure, she becomes a side-show star. Unhappy touring up and down the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers on a seedy showboat, Vinnie returns to her family and later seeks fame and fortune with P.T. Barnum. Mr. Barnum sees that money is to be made by adding Vinnie to his band of curiosities, and arranges for her to marry Charles Stratton, also known as General Tom Thumb. Minnie marries later, and the two couples find international fame, travelling around the world meeting queens, kings and presidents.
Ms. Benjamin's second novel is fast-paced, well-researched and captivatingly written. Narrated by Vinnie, the book takes the reader through the love, adventure, triumphs and tragedies of the first half of her unusual life. Ms. Benjamin's first historical fiction novel is Alice I Have Been, published in 2010.
Reviewed by Nancy Wiseman, 07/11. Other reviews by Nancy Wiseman. Have you read this book? Tell us what you think!