The Swan Gondola: Book summary and reviews of The Swan Gondola by Timothy Schaffert

The Swan Gondola

by Timothy Schaffert

The Swan Gondola by Timothy Schaffert X
The Swan Gondola by Timothy Schaffert
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2014
    464 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

On the eve of the 1898 Omaha World's Fair, Ferret Skerritt, ventriloquist by trade, con man by birth, isn't quite sure how it will change him or his city. Omaha still has the marks of a filthy Wild West town, even as it attempts to achieve the grandeur and respectability of nearby Chicago. But when he crosses paths with the beautiful and enigmatic Cecily, his whole purpose shifts and the fair becomes the backdrop to their love affair.

One of a traveling troupe of actors that has descended on the city, Cecily works in the Midway's Chamber of Horrors, where she loses her head hourly on a guillotine playing Marie Antoinette. And after closing, she rushes off, clinging protectively to a mysterious carpetbag, never giving Ferret a second glance. But a moonlit ride on the swan gondola, a boat on the lagoon of the New White City, changes everything, and the fair's magic begins to take its effect.

From the critically acclaimed author of The Coffins of Little Hope, The Swan Gondola is a transporting read, reminiscent of Water for Elephants or The Night Circus.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[There] are many romantic and historical delights here, and, despite its imperfections, it's easy to imagine this charming novel attaining Water for Elephants–like popularity with readers." - Publishers Weekly

"A rambunctious and well-researched but ungainly historical romance." - Kirkus

"The stately pace might be too slow for some readers, but fans of historical fiction will not be disappointed." - Library Journal

"The Omaha World's Fair of 1898 comes to gritty, yet magical life in this enchanting new novel, a mystical tale of love, loss and spiritual reincarnation." - Melanie Benjamin, New York Times–bestselling author of The Aviator's Wife

"A fresh, gorgeous, witty page-turner full of twists and surprises and all the romance in the world. I couldn't put it down." - Jami Attenberg, New York Times–bestselling author of The Middlesteins

"The Swan Gondola is a highly imaginative, vividly told tale of whimsy, hucksters, soothsayers, ghosts and, most of all, star-crossed lovers." - Cathy Marie Buchanan, bestselling author of The Painted Girls

"Every page of The Swan Gondola shimmers with exquisite detail...Reading it, the magic of the day comes alive, complete with seers and balloons, with corsets and lipstick, love letters and the ventriloquism of romance." - Emma Straub, author of Laura Lamot's Life in Pictures

This information about The Swan Gondola shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Timothy Schaffert Author Biography

©timothyschaffert.com

Timothy Schaffert is the author of four novels, including The Singing and Dancing Daughters of God and The Coffins of Little Hope. His short fiction was short-listed for the O. Henry Prize, and won the Henfield/Transatlantic Review Award and the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award, and his fiction and essays have been featured in several anthologies. He is the director of two literary nonprofits: the (downtown) omaha lit fest and the Nebraska Summer Writers Conference: the Prairie Schooner Workshops. He teaches in the English Department of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is the web/contributing editor for the school's literary magazine, the Prairie Schooner.

Link to Timothy Schaffert's Website

Name Pronunciation
Timothy Schaffert: sch-Aff-ert

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