Mrs. Houdini

Mrs. Houdini

A Novel

Book - 2016
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"Richly lyrical and thought-provoking" ( Publishers Weekly , starred review), this "stellar debut from a novelist to watch" (Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize winning author) explores the passionate marriage of Harry Houdini and his wife, Bess--a love story that defied death itself.

Before escape artist Harry Houdini died, he vowed he would find a way to speak to his beloved wife, Bess, from beyond the grave using a coded message known only to the two of them. But when a widowed Bess begins seeing this code in seemingly impossible places, it becomes clear that Harry has an urgent message to convey. Unlocking the puzzle will set Bess on a course back through the pair's extraordinary romance, which swept the illusionist and his bride from the beaches of Coney Island, to the palaces of Budapest, to the back lots of Hollywood. When the mystery finally leads Bess to the doorstep of a mysterious young photographer, she realizes that her husband's magic may have been more than just illusion.

In surprising turns that weave through the uncertain days of the dawn of the twentieth century and continue into the dazzling 1920s, Mrs. Houdini is a "dazzling and enchanting" ( Shelf Awareness , starred review) tale, "a marvel that gallops through time and space" (Associated Press), and a "mesmerizing reimagining" ( People ) of one of history's greatest love stories.
Publisher: New York :, Atria Books,, 2016
Edition: First Atria books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781501110900
Branch Call Number: F KEL
Characteristics: 306 pages ; 24 cm


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Michael Colford Feb 13, 2016

Victoria Kelly does some serious research on one of the greatest romances in history, that of escape artist/magician Harry Houdini, and his wife Bess. Then she spins the strands of history into a lovely novel that follows both the lives of Harry and Bess as a couple, as well as Bess' search for a way to communicate with her husband after he passes away suddenly.

Mrs. Houdini is filled with details that are sure to please lovers of historical fiction, and it has the grand sweep of a romance that will keep fans of that genre happy. While the finale borders on twee, it does provide Bess with a positive note upon which to close out her story.

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