The Little Shadows

The Little Shadows

eBook - 2011
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The Little Shadows revolves around three sisters in the world of vaudeville before and during the First World War. We follow the lives of all three in turn: Aurora, the eldest and most beautiful, who is sixteen when the book opens; thoughtful Clover, a year younger; and the youngest sister, joyous headstrong sprite Bella, who is thirteen. The girls, overseen by their fond but barely coping Mama, are forced to make their living as a singing act after the untimely death of their father. They begin with little besides youth and hope, but Marina Endicott's genius is to show how the three girls slowly and steadily evolve into true artists even as they navigate their way to adulthood among a cast of extraordinary characters -- some of them charming charlatans, some of them unpredictable eccentrics, and some of them just ordinary-seeming humans with magical gifts.
Publisher: Toronto : Doubleday Canada, 2011
ISBN: 9780385668927
Characteristics: 1 online resource


From Library Staff

During the First World War, three sisters, Aurora, Clover and Bella, set out to make a living in Vaudeville after the early death of their father. Their struggling mother does her best to guide them as they find their way into adulthood among a company of eccentrics and confidence tricksters.

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Oct 10, 2014

A little boring. This book was hard to read as it did not hold my attention. More could have been done with this story.

Marie_45 Jun 07, 2014

It took me a while to get into the story, it was a good novel.

WVMLBookClubTitles Jun 09, 2013

Set in 1912 and the vibrant world of vaudeville, the story introduces us to three teenaged sisters who must make a living as a singing act when their father dies unexpectedly. With only youth and hope on their side, the girls evolve into true artists. Their journey is brilliantly crafted by Commonwealth Prize-winning Endicott, who takes us onto the stage and also behind the curtain to reveal the art of vaudeville—in all its madness, melodrama, hilarity and sorrow—as the art of life itself.

WVMLStaffPicks Jun 03, 2013

I felt there were many parallels with Ann-Marie MacDonald's classic, Fall on Your Knees: family stories that capture the imagination, a setting in early 20th century leading up to and including the first World War, and a central role of music. Endicott has done a brilliant job of portraying the world of Vaudeville that her endearing characters inhabit.

Jan 01, 2013

Marina Endicott has woven her inestimable writerly magic again into the story of the on and offstage trials, tribulations and triumphs of the Avery sisters, vaudeville performers circa World War I. The sisters waste no time stealing your heart, rapidly followed by a disarming cast of vivid supporting characters, from family to fellow performers to others driving the vibrant theatrical scene of that era. The Little Shadows is a book that you'll be tempted to consume in great gulps, with its engrossing behind the scenes insights as well as its kaleidoscope of intriguing relationships. However, you're advised to pause and linger over each chapter, if only to extend your time with characters you'll miss acutely after the last page. Endicott's signature sensitivity, both kind but also clear-eyed and honest, and the redemptive insights that made Good To A Fault so resonant, are in equal full strength here.

Sep 07, 2012

This is a very enjoyable read. If you are interested in the history of vaudeville then it is a must read.

Aug 23, 2012

I found this book great fun. I enjoyed seeing behind the scenes of the vaudeville circuit. The relationships between the mother and three daughters were moving, complex, and beautifully rendered. I was sorry when I got to the final page. This would make a great movie, too!

May 22, 2012

"Good to a Fault" was one of my favourite books and this was a bit disappointing. It took me ages to get into it. There were so many characters that I couldn't keep track of them. In the end I enjoyed this book and was sorry when it came to an end. But "GTF" was still my favourite.

Apr 25, 2012

Ho hum

Jan 13, 2012

I really enjoyed learning about Vaudeville and liked the "Girls" well enough but something was missing. This novel just did not "wow" me.

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