Posted in Historical

Deeanne Gist’s It Happened at the Fair

It Happened at the Fair: A Novel


A transporting historical novel about a promising young inventor, his struggle with loss, and the attractive teacher who changes his life, all set against the razzle-dazzle of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Gambling everything, including the family farm, Cullen McNamara travels to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with his most recent invention. But the noise in the Fair’s Machinery Palace makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading.

The young teacher is reluctant to participate, and Cullen has trouble keeping his mind on his lessons while intently watching her lips. Like the newly invented Ferris Wheel, he is caught in a whirl between his girl back home, his dreams as an inventor, and his unexpected attraction to his new tutor. Can he keep his feet on the ground, or will he be carried away?


Oh, I had so much fun reading this book! Ms. Gist does an incredible job of creating characters who are so real that they jump off the pages and having situations that you most likely haven’t come across before. I so adored Cullen and his drive to succeed was something I found myself rooting for throughout the book. I thought Della came across as very unique and I found her endearing and not annoying. I really appreciated the back drop of the fair and thought it became a character in and of itself. I can promise you that this book will have you smiling and maybe even laughing at times. The biggest spiritual theme in this novel is trusting God and you see that really played out through Cullen. Great read and highly recommended!

**I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in any way.**

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