The Museum of Extraordinary Things

by Alice Hoffman

3.5 of 5 stars 4 ratings • 1 review • 12 shelved
Book cover for The Museum of Extraordinary Things

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The Museum of Extraordinary Things

by Alice Hoffman

3.5 of 5 stars 4 ratings • 1 review • 12 shelved
From the bestselling author of The Dovekeeperscomes a spectacularly imaginative and moving new novel in the vein of The Night Circusthat has been acclaimed by Jodi Picoult as 'truly stunning: part love story, part mystery, part history, and all beauy'.

New York City, 1911. Meet Coralie Sardie, circus girl, web-fingered mermaid, shy only daughter of Professor Sardie and raised in the bizarre surroundings of his Museum of Extraordinary Things.

And meet Eddie Cohen, a handsome young immigrant who has run away from his painful past and his Orthodox family to become a photographer, documenting life on the teeming city streets. One night by the freezing waters of the Hudson River, Coralie stumbles across Eddie, who has become enmeshed in the case of a missing girl, and the fates of these two hopeful outcasts collide as they search for truth, beauty, love and freedom in tumultuous times.
  • ISBN10 1471112160
  • ISBN13 9781471112164
  • Publish Date 24 April 2014 (first published 18 February 2014)
  • Publish Status Active
  • Publish Country GB
  • Imprint Simon & Schuster Ltd
  • Format eBook
  • Pages 512
  • Language English


Avatar for rinn

Rinn 3 of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book for free from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Also posted on my blog, Rinn Reads.

I was immediately drawn to this book on Netgalley due to its title. As a Museum Studies graduate, and a museum worker, it intrigued me. However, it was a while before I finally got round to reading it, at a time when I needed to escape from the science fiction and fantasy genres (that doesn’t happen often!) and branch out a bit.

The Museum of Extraordinary Things is definitely a unique novel. Set in a period of history I don’t often read about, yet in a city I have read plenty about, it felt refreshing and different. The unusual topic – the ‘museums’, or rather halls of curiosities, that were popular at the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth, only added to this. Within the first 5% of the book, I was struck by the beauty of Alice Hoffman’s writing. I’ve not read any of her work before this, but after reading The Museum of Extraordinary Things I would definitely give some of her other books a try.

Yet whilst I enjoyed the writing style, the pacing was far too slow for me. It felt as though not much really happened during the course of the book, and at some points it dragged a little. Despite being labelled or portrayed as a romance, or at least as having romantic elements, I wasn’t really feeling it. The relationship was too sudden and made little sense – and additionally, I didn’t feel an attachment to any character.

The Museum of Extraordinary Things is unique and beautifully written, but was ultimately too slow for my liking, as well as lacking any real feeling.