Wednesday, April 13, 2016

MRS HOUDINI - Victoria Kelly

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. 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 thrilling tale that will take you deep into the heart of one of history’s greatest love stories—asking what drives people to believe in something bigger than themselves—even as it reveals the famous magician’s most remarkable feat of all.

REVIEW

Harry Houdini has fascinated numerous generations of magic lovers. His life and rise to fame, along with his great love for his wife, Bess, has intrigued many, but I liked that the focus of this story was on Bess instead of her famous husband. The novel covers her life from when she first met Harry until long after he died, and her tumultuous life thereafter. 

Told through several points of view, I found the novel inclusive of many factors in this couples lives - Harry's great love for his mother, Bess's wisdom when dealing with her husband's controlling personality, their fascination with spiritualism, to name a few. Bess's grief is explored as she desperately anticipates that he will reach out from beyond the grave to communicate his secret code as per their pact. There were numerous settings too from New York to Europe and ocean liners. 

Filled with compelling characters, exciting locations, and eloquent prose, this is a lovely way to learn more about the woman behind the great escape artist, Harry Houdini! 

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.