Saturday, May 4, 2013

Book Review - It Happened At The Fair


A transporting historical novel about a promising young inventor, his struggle with loss, and the attractive teacher who changes his life, all set against the razzle-dazzle of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.
Gambling everything, including the family farm, Cullen McNamara travels to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with his most recent invention. But the noise in the Fair's Machinery Palace makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading.
The young teacher is reluctant to participate, and Cullen has trouble keeping his mind on his lessons while intently watching her lips. Like the newly invented Ferris Wheel, he is caught in a whirl between his girl back home, his dreams as an inventor, and his unexpected attraction to his new tutor. Can he keep his feet on the ground, or will he be carried away?


Deeanne Gist---known to her family, friends, and fans as Dee---has rocketed up bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her very fun, very original historicals. She has received numerous RITA nominations, two consecutive Christy Awards, and rave reviews. Deeanne has a background in education and journalism and a degree from Texas A&M. She has written for People, Parents, and Parenting. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and has four grown children. She has a very active online community on her website at and at 

 This is another lovely historical novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved the setting of the World's Fair and how the author really researched the and shares all about the fair. She takes us through the buildings and shares the different exhibits and shares it through the voices of her main characters.

Cullen is a farm boy who has a genius for inventing things. He takes his latest invention to the Worlds Fair and there he meets a young teacher named Della. He has sought her out because he realizes that he's having a hard time hearing and she teaches the deaf, so he's hoping he can learn to lip read. Their sweet relationship develops from there. I didn't realize what a social stigma it was to be deaf in those days. I liked how the author addressed this issue, as well.

I really loved the pictures of the Fair and the sights of the area that the author included between chapters. It really brought the book to life for me. I could just imagine Cullen and Della there together, exploring and getting to know each other.

The whole story was captivating and I know you'll enjoy it as much as I did. 

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

You can read more reviews of this book HERE


Blessings - Julie

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