Young Tessa is a diminutive girl, far too small for farm work and the object of ridicule by both her own family and the other children in their isolated Midwestern community. Her father seems to believe in nothing beyond his crops, certainly not education for his misfit daughter. When a mysterious, entrancing librarian comes to town, full of fabulous stories, earthy wisdom and potions for the lovelorn, she takes Tessa under her wing, teaching her to read and to believe in herselfand a whole new magical world of possibilities opens up. But even as she blooms, Tessas father begins sexually abusing her. And her mentor carries a dark secret of her own that finally causes her to drown herself. Tessa runs off, following Marys footsteps, to join the circus as a trapeze artist, where she marries a loving man and finds a fulfilling life for herself amidst her new circus family. But she remains haunted by her past. And when a stranger from one of Marys fabulist tales shows up, Tessa risks everything to follow him to Rain Village, where she might finally discover her mentors tragic secret.
A brilliantly evocative debut set in the early part of the 20th century, steeped in emotional turbulence and down-to-earth wisdom, where a young woman must reconcile the inner traumas from her past and learn to live in the present in order to avoid becoming prisoner to her future. Rain Village casts a fabulous spell, pulling us into a world of mystery and possibility where love, friendship and loyalty might either destroy or set one free.
That tramp! Black-haired Jezebel!
My mothers voice screeched into the house, from the yard. Up in my room, I thought a storm had come until I saw the bare windowpane, the butter-colored sun streaming in.
I ran down the wooden steps and out the front door, peered through the railings on the front porch. My father was out by the hedges again, clipping as if some devil had possessed him, sweat streaming down his face and the shears sprouting from his giant body like antlers. For two days now all wed heard were the sounds of metal slicing against metal, twigs being snapped through and dropping to the ground. The crops in the field were going to ruin, but my father didnt care. Our front yard was already adorned with an elephant, a lion, and a peacock with a spray of leaves fanning behind it. The hedge he was attacking now was fourth in the line that hemmed in our yard, blocking it from the country road that stretched all ...
As a first novel, Rain Village is worthy of note and bodes well for Turgeon in the future. However, it is not without its flaws; the initially invigorating plot seems to peter out into magical realism towards the end which, in the context of a storyline that up until that point had been based more or less in reality, seemed to be an odd direction to veer off into so firmly.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (443 words).
Carolyn Turgeon was born in Michigan grew up in Illinois, Texas, Michigan and
Pennsylvania. She studied English and Italian literature at Penn State and
received a Master's in Comparative Literature from UCLA. Rain Village is
her first novel. She works for a non-profit in New York and lives in Queens.
Carolyn Turgeon discusses Rain Village
A fascinating site about the circus past and present
Interested in learning the flying trapeze?!
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