Coney Island at the turn of the century is home to misfits, “Unusuals”, and con artists. When Kitty Hayward appears without a family or place to stay, she finds a home with the residents and visitors of Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet - a museum of odd artifacts and unusual wonders. Soon she is caught up in the mystery of dying animals and people, and the politics of rich developers seeing the potential for Coney Island’s territory. Populated by vividly imagined and unique characters, this novel is quite simply a ripping good story!
- Cindy— From Cindy's Recs
A hypnotic debut in turn-of-the-century Coney Island, where an abandoned girl collides with a disgruntled m nage of circus freaks Kitty Hayward and her mother are ready to experience the spectacles of Coney Island's newest attraction, the Dreamland amusement park. But when Kitty's mother vanishes from their hotel, she finds herself penniless, alone, and far from her native England. The last people she expects to help are the cast of characters at Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet, a museum of oddities. From con men to strongmen, from flea wranglers to lion tamers, Kitty's new friends quickly adopt her and vow to help find the missing Mrs. Hayward. But even these unusual inhabitants may not be a match for the insidious sickness that begins to spread through Coney Island...or the panic that turns Dreamland into a nightmare. With shades of Water For Elephants and The Museum of Extraordinary Things, Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet sweeps readers into a mesmerizing world where nothing is as it seems, and where "normal" is the exception to the rule.