Little by Edward Carey #BookReview @BelgraviaB @EdwardCarey70

About this book…

There is a space between life and death: it’s called waxworks

Born in Alsace in 1761, the unsightly, diminutive Marie Grosholtz is quickly nicknamed ‘Little’. Orphaned at the age of six, she finds employmet in Bern, Switzerland, under the charge of reclusive anatomist, Dr Curtius. In time the unlikely pair form an unlikely bond, and together they pursue an unusual passion: the fine art of wax-modelling.

Forced to flee their city, the doctor and his protégée head for the seamy streets of Paris where they open an exhibition hall for their uncanny creations. Though revolution approaches, the curious-minded flock to see the wax heads, eager to scrutinise the faces of royalty and reprobates alike. At ‘The Cabinet of Doctor Curtius’, heads are made, heads are displayed, and a future is built from wax.

From the gutters of pre-revolutionary France to the luxury of the Palace of Versailles, from casting the still-warm heads of The Terror to finding something very like love, Little is the unforgettable story of how a ‘bloodstained crumb of a girl’ went on to shape the world…

My review…

Sometimes a book comes along that seems destined to become a literary work of art and you are just so thankful that it was brought to your attention as you’re convinced you would have missed out otherwise! I was in France on a school trip when I got the email from Gallic books about Little and when I read the blurb I just knew that it was a sign! So when my paperback copy arrived, complete with little prints of some of the illustrations inside, I knew that this book was meant to make its way to me as EVERYTHING about this fascinating and intriguing book appealed to me. And when I read it, this book spoke to my soul in a way I hadn’t been expecting and it has now sneaked onto my favourite books of the year list! It’s absolutely PERFECT!

Having been born and bred in Great Yarmouth, my childhood summers weren’t complete without a visit to the Louis Tussauds House of Wax or as it later became known, “The Worlds Worst Wax Museum”. I found it fascinating as a child and pleaded to be taken to Madam Tussauds in London for my birthday, where I went into the Chamber of Horrors and immediately decided that it was way too lifelike for me and never went again! I had no idea that there was such a wonderful background story to be unveiled but Edward Carey has brought the woman behind this institutional tourist attraction to life with his novel Little and I guarantee you will never look at waxwork models the same way again!

This books tells the story of Marie (or Little as she becomes known for reasons you will understand when you read it) against a backdrop of an incredibly interesting time in French history. Complimenting the prose are illustrations that add a quality of depth and understanding to the storyline (the one on the back inside page actually made me quite teary I can tell you!) and really brought the work done by Marie to life. Her life is extraordinary and it doesn’t take long for the reader to become drawn into her interactions with the other characters as her journey weaves it way through the historical events and paves the way to the next enthralling chapter for her.

I highly recommend that you purchase a physical copy of Little as you won’t regret having this beautiful piece of craftsmanship on your bookshelf after you’ve read it. It’s a stunning, uniquely narrated novel featuring a heroine that I will never forget. Beautifully crafted from start to finish so take your time and appreciate every single page!

Meet the author…

Edward Carey was born in Norfolk, England. He is a novelist, visual artist and has also written and directed a number of plays for the National Theatre of Romania and the Vilnius Small State Theatre, Lithuania. In England his plays and adaptations have been performed at the Young Vic Studio, the Battersea Arts Centre, and the Royal Opera House Studio. He is the author of the novels Observatory Mansions, Alva and Irva, and the acclaimed YA series The Iremonger Trilogy, which has been published in thirteen countries and has been optioned for film adaptation. After university, Edward worked at Madame Tussaud in London, preventing people from touching the waxworks, and it was there that he learnt the incredible story of the museum’s founder. Edward lives in Austin, Texas in the United States, and teaches at the University of Austin. He is available for interview and to write features.

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Published by

jorobertson2015

I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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