The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb

I have a weakness for fictionalized biographies.  Joining books I've loved in this unique genre next to What is the What, Romancing Miss Brontë, and The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott is Melanie Benjamin's latest novel, The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb.  

Mrs. Tom Thumb whose name graces the title of this novel, was the better known moniker of Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump Stratton - a name whose size matches the personality, though not the stature, of an amazing yet diminutive woman. Born with a form of proportional dwarfism, "Vinnie" as she was called by friends and family, rose to fame under the wing of showman P.T. Barnum and married to Barnum's star, General Tom Thumb.

From humble beginnings as a school teacher, Vinnie wanted something more out of life and eventually seized the opportunity to travel the world with the circus as her ticket. Her fame and renown grew raising her to the social circles of New York's elite while she and her husband basked in the company of presidents and royalty throughout Europe.

Melanie Benjamin's story The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb takes a glance inside Vinnie's mind and world, and the story unveiled is engaging and fascinating. The historical details of circus life and the figures of P.T. Barnum, Tom Thumb, and Vinnie herself are drawn with a degree of realism that reflects Benjamin's meticulous research. The story is fully captivating from start to finish and headstrong Vinnie - with her sharp wit, gentle heart, and untamed dreams - is definitely a heroine to love.
What do you think of historical fiction biographies?  Do you prefer nonfiction or do you enjoy authors' reimaginings of historical figures and events?

An advance review copy of this book was provided by LibraryThing's Early Reviewers Program.  This review represents my honest and unbiased opinions.  The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb is available now.

1 Response to "The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb"

  1. Beth(bookaholicmom) says:
    August 1, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    I like the fictionalized biographies. I don't take them too seriously though as I don't know how true they stay to historical accounts. I have enjoyed the ones I have read though and some of them are my favorite reads.

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