The Tumbling Turner Sisters by Juliette Fay – Book Review


I loved this novel.  In 1919, the Turner family is suffering from poverty when it unexpectedly turns into extreme poverty after an accident leaves Mr. Turner’s hand crippled, and him out of work.  Mrs. Turner who has always had dreams of a larger life, turns the sisters acrobatic act into a Vaudeville act and takes Nell, her recently widowed eldest daughter (along with her baby) and her three teenage daughters, Gert, Winnie and Kit on the road in order to earn enough money to keep the bills paid and the family fed.


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The unexpected freedom that comes from life in Vaudeville is an awakening to all the sisters, but the novel follows Gert and Winnie most closely.  There are interesting and kind people in Vaudeville along with the all the backstabbing and danger.  Gert begins a forbidden friendship, then a love-affair with a kind man, and Winnie has unsettled feelings as she worries about the loss of education.  Nell suffers from loss of her husband and the life they had envisioned together.  All the sisters learn many lessons along the way.  Love, heartbreak and maturity are just a few of them.


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I really found all the information regarding Vaudeville just wonderful.  The characters of all the performers that the sisters met, the acts (which were actual vaudeville acts) just brought a whole new level of authenticity to the novel.  I highly recommend this book.  Well done Fay!


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