47 Followers
274 Following
LoraHatesSpam

Lora Hates Spam

My rants and reviews

Currently reading

Tales in Time: The Man Who Walked Home and Other Stories
Peter Crowther, Robert Silverberg, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, Lewis Padgett, Garry Douglas Kilworth, James Tiptree Jr., Charles de Lint, Spider Robinson, Jack Finney, L. Sprague de Camp, Brian W. Aldiss, H.G. Wells
Progress: 27/284pages
Books of Blood, Vols. 1-3
Clive Barker
Progress: 98/507pages

Orphans of the Carnival

Orphans of the Carnival: A Novel - Carol Birch

by Carol Birch

 

This turned out to be a fascinating story, though it started out a little poetic and vague. It took a chapter or two to really get into what was going on, but once the background of the main character, Julia, started coming out, I definitely wanted to keep reading.

 

Julia was born 'different'. She has hair all over her face and body like fur, and the face itself appears ape-like. After her mother abandons her as a small child, she is taken care of in comfortable circumstances until the old woman who looks after her dies, then Julia sets out on her own and eventually joins a carnival freak show.

 

The variety of characters in the freak show provides some interesting personality quirks that come of growing up 'different'. Julia sometime bristles at the casual way in which the other 'freaks' refer to her anomaly, though her sensitivity goes largely unnoticed.

 

Julia is like many young women and wants the same things, like nice dresses, but she is aware of the effects of her appearance and is told she will never 'get a man'. She's also very talented and can sing and dance, which takes her beyond just being a freak into being a valued performer.

 

It wasn't until the end of the story that I learned that Julia was a real person, though the events of her life are fictionalized in the story. Wikipedia has an interesting entry about her. The story is well told and gives the reader some insight into what it must be like to grow up and live as someone who is visibly different and the treatment she gets as a result. Very poignant.