Dimensions: 544 pages, 9.61 × 6.59 × 1.39 in
Published: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0385668910
ISBN - 13: 9780385668910
Read from the Book
Gentry Fox was the shortest man Clover had ever seen, shorter than she was by far. As if someone had pressed down on the head of a normal man, but some time ago, so he’d had time to get used to it. He had to look up, even at Bella, which he did with a sideways glint. ‘What—have—we—here?’ he asked, his voice both gravelled and silky. The girls stood in a line, not sure whether to proceed. He waved a hand, beckoning them to the stage, and they went stiffly down the raked aisle, not entirely sure of their footing in the thicker darkness of the auditorium. Mama patted Clover, who moved aside to let her through. She took two steps and stopped, perhaps afraid, Clover thought. But no. She had paused only to make a better entrance. Mr. Fox looked up, inquiring, when she did not speak—then, looking again, gave Mama a very warm, familiar smile. He laughed and bowed, and bowed again, coming forward as he bent and rose and bent. ‘Oh, my dear sir, you may recall that I have had the distinct pleasure of making your acquaintance before,’ Mama said to the little bowing man. Bowing now herself. ‘But of course, of course I recall,’ Mr. Fox said, murmuring and mincing. ‘With the greatest , my dear Flora, the greatest of pleasure.’ Pleasure, pleasure. They were nodding dolls, bowing and re-bowing. Clover felt Aurora pull her close, then slide an arm behind to pull Bella into place. &l
From the Publisher
Here is the eagerly anticipated new novel from a brilliant writer whose last book, Good to a Fault, was shortlisted for the prestigious Giller Prize and won the Commonwealth Prize for Canada and the Caribbean.
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.
About the Author
Marina Endicott''s previous novel, Good to a Fault, won the Commonwealth Writers'' Prize for Best Book, Canada and the Caribbean, and was a finalist for the prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her first novel, Open Arms, was shortlisted for the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Endicott has been an actor, director, playwright and editor, and now lives in Edmonton, Alberta.
A Globe and Mail Best Book
“I don''t want to diminish the accomplishment of this book by using tired adjectives of description (brilliant, compelling, rich, dramatic, sexy) or understate the power of the characters (funny, strong, tragic, brave and, yes, sexy) — so I''ll simplify: the best book I''ve read in a long, long time; it deserves to be a contender for every major literary prize this fall."
—CBC.ca, Linden MacIntyre, Author of The Bishop’s Man
Praise for Good to a Fault:
"... absolutely ingenious. As you were going along, you were thinking--turning the pages-- ''This is simply delightful.''"
— Colm Toibín