Set against the turbulent backdrop of American Vaudeville, four sisters embark on an unexpected adventure—and a last-ditch effort to save their family.
In 1919, the Turner sisters and their parents are barely scraping by. Their father is a low-paid boot stitcher in Johnson City, New York, and the family is always one paycheck away from eviction. When their father’s hand is crushed and he can no longer work, their irrepressible mother decides that the vaudeville stage is their best—and only—chance for survival.
Traveling by train from town to town, teenagers Gert, Winnie, and Kit, and recent widow Nell soon find a new kind of freedom in the company of performers who are as diverse as their acts. There is a seamier side to the business, however, and the young women face dangers and turns of fate they never could have anticipated.
Heartwarming and surprising, The Tumbling Turner Sisters is ultimately a story of awakening—to unexpected possibilities, to love and heartbreak, and to the dawn of a new American era.
“Filled with energetic prose and colorful characters—you won’t soon forget the Turner girls!”
Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“This novel of love, dreams, and the everlasting strength of family perfectly encapsulates the social mores and pressures of the early twentieth century. The Turner sisters dare to dream big—don’t miss this page turner!”
Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author
“Book clubs are sure to fall for The Tumbling Turner Sisters. Through this band of charming young women—and their stage mother, of course—Juliette Fay delivers the history, mystery, and prejudice of vaudeville in a story that is ultimately about the possibility of practice making something perfect (or perfect enough, anyway), the benefits of humor and ambition, and the redemptive power of love.”
Meg Waite Clayton, New York Times bestselling author
“The Turner sisters come tumbling out of this terrific story, full of life, passion, and trouble. Forced into a life in vaudeville, the four young girls and their mother push the boundaries of propriety to achieve their dreams in a world that doesn’t often allow women to have dreams. Gert and Winnie shine as each, in her own way, fights for her right to be who she is. A great piece of historical fiction that rings true one hundred years later.”
B. A. Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author
“Readers who delight in books set in 1920 or feature the theater will adore Fay’s spunky coming-of-age tale….This wonderfully evocative story charms…The delightful quotes from famous vaudeville performers, along with colorful details of life on stage, are a testament to Fay’s meticulous research. The pace is as rapid as their tumbling, and the appealing characters add to the enjoyment readers will feel from a story with gumption.”
RT Book Reviews (4 stars)
“All four Turner daughters and their mother are forces to be reckoned with…Their lively personalities bring to life Fay’s outlandishly enjoyable premise. With humor, affection, ambition, and a talent for weaving in history, Fay brings the world of 1910s vaudeville vividly to life through the travails of the tenacious Turner family.”
“The great-granddaughter of a vaudevillian, Fay brings an unrivaled verisimilitude to the community of hardworking, resilient, and spirited entertainers who created their performing lives out of both desperation and desire.”
“Readers will applaud these hardworking sisters. Fay’s charming fourth novel pulls back the curtains to reveal the colorful lives in vaudeville.”
“Packed with lively characters and charming detail, Juliette Fay’s thoughtful prose sheds light on an almost forgotten part of entertainment history.”
Allie Larkin, bestselling author of Stay
“The Tumbling Turner Sisters explores vaudeville with stunning humanity and sharp humor. Juliette Fay’s novel of sisters forced by their ultimate stage mother into this show business world of fanciful facade hiding cutthroat innards reveals America—from Jim Crow laws to skirting prohibition. Like Little Women, these four sisters, facing loss and poverty, reveal a family with an unbreakable core of fortitude and love.”
Randy Susan Meyers, bestselling author of Accidents of Marriage
“Like vaudeville itself, The Tumbling Turner Sisters will delight, amaze, and surprise you. With a captivating cast of characters, Juliette Fay brings vaudeville, its players and theaters, customs and trickery to raucous life. You will smell the greasepaint, hear the music, and feel the cold, all while cheering for The Tumbling Turner Sisters to survive and thrive.”
Laura Harrington, bestselling author of Alice Bliss
“As colorful as its vaudeville setting, The Tumbling Turner Sisters made me laugh, cry, and clap my hands with delight as I cheered on these four lovable and spunky sisters. A big-hearted tale of adventure.”
Ann Mah, author of Mastering the Art of French Eating
“The Tumbling Turner Sisters takes you on a wild ride through the glory days of vaudeville, following Winnie and Gert as they hit the gritty floorboards of backwater theaters, pick themselves up, and strive again toward laughter-filled heights. The prose is riveting as the sisters carry their family out of poverty in a time of racially charged political turmoil. Through Juliette Fay’s multilayered characters, I feel the sisters’ entanglements and passions as if they were my own.”
E. B. Moore, author of An Unseemly Wife
“An absorbing and heartfelt tale of four sisters in desperate contortions to keep their family aloft. I loved this slice of theatrical history, and Fay’s meticulous research brings to life the vivid playhouses and costumed performers—ingénues and divas, swindlers and sots. I stayed awake far too late wondering whether the girls would come in for a safe landing.”
Nichole Bernier, author of The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.
Katie Schorr is an actor and writer in New York. Her one-woman show, Take Me. Seriously, ran for six months at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, and she performs throughout New York in new works at the Ensemble Studio Theatre and Ars Nova, among other theaters. She has appeared on VH1’s Best Week Ever and costars in the web series Head in the Oven with Saturday Night Live actor Bill Hader. Her audiobook credits include narrating the novels in Alyson Noel’s bestselling Immortals series. Of her work on the series, AudioFile magazine has said, “Narrator Katie Schorr has a wonderfully raspy, youthful voice, which she puts to good effect on the cast of teenage characters.”
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- Publisher: Blackstone Audio
- Genre: Fiction/Historical
- ISBN-13: 978-1-5047-2827-0