The Little Shadows

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Allen & Unwin, Jun 17, 2014 - Fiction - 541 pages
10 Reviews
The Little Shadows revolves around three sisters in the world of vaudeville before and during the First World War. We follow the lives of all three in turn: Aurora, the eldest and most beautiful, who is sixteen when the book opens; thoughtful Clover, a year younger; and the youngest sister, joyous, headstrong sprite Bella, who is thirteen. The girls, overseen by their fond but barely coping Mama, are forced to make their living as a singing act after the untimely death of their father. They begin with little besides youth and hope, but Marina Endicott's genius is to show how the three girls slowly and steadily evolve into true artists even as they navigate their way to adulthood among a cast of extraordinary characters - some of them charming charlatans, some of them unpredictable eccentrics, and some of them just ordinary-seeming humans with magical gifts.

Using her gorgeous prose and extraordinary insight, Endicott lures us onto the brightly lit stage and then into the little shadows that lurk behind the curtain, and reveals how the art of vaudeville - in all its variety, madness, melodrama, hilarity and sorrow - echoes the art of life itself.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LibraryCin - LibraryThing

3.5 stars It is 1912. Aurora, Clover and Belle are sisters and their father is gone. Their mother used to work in vaudeville, so she decides to teach the girls and set up an act so they can all make a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - brocade - LibraryThing

Very much looked forward to this book, but could not keep reading it. Historically interesting but the plot felt repetitive and insignificant. Not at all interested in these characters. Read full review

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About the author (2014)

Canadian author Marina Endicott was born in Golden, British Columbia, and grew up in Nova Scotia and Toronto. She worked as an actor and director before moving to London, where she began to write fiction. Since returning to Canada in 1984, Marina has worked as Dramaturge at the Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre and Associate Dramaturge at the Banff Centre's Playwrights Colony. She now teaches creative writing at the University of Alberta. She's had three plays produced and her long poem, The Policeman's Wife, some letters, was shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards in 2006.

Marina's first novel, Open Arms, was nominated for the Amazon/Books In Canada First Novel award in 2002 and serialized on CBC Radio's Between the Covers. Good to a Fault (2009) was a finalist for the 2008 Giller Prize and won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Canada and the Caribbean. The Little Shadows has recently been named on the longlist of the 2011 Giller Prize.

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