Overview - At the start of The Illusionists, we meet Eliza, a young, beautiful woman of limited means. Eliza is modern before her time. Not for her the stifling if respectable conventionality of marriage, children, domestic drudgery. She longs for more. Read more...
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More About The Illusionists by Rosie Thomas
At the start ofThe Illusionists,
we meet Eliza, a young, beautiful woman of limited means. Eliza is modern before her time. Not for her the stifling if respectable conventionality of marriage, children, domestic drudgery. She longs for more. Through her work as an artist's model, she meets the magnetic and irascible Devil--a born showman whose dream is to run his own theater company. +L17Devil's right-hand man is the improbably-named Carlo Bonomi, an ill-tempered dwarf with an enormous talent for all things magic and illusion. Carlo and Devil clash at every opportunity and it constantly falls upon Eliza to broker an uneasy peace between them. And then there is Jasper Button. Mild-mannered, and a family man at heart, it is his gift as an artist that makes him the unlikely final member of the motley crew Thrown together by a twist of fate, their lives are inextricably linked: the fortune of one depends on the fortune of the other. And as Eliza gets sucked into the seductive and dangerous world her strange companions inhabit, she risks not only her heart, but also her life, which is soon thrown into peril.
- ISBN-13: 9781468309904
- ISBN-10: 1468309900
- Publisher: Overlook Pr
- Publish Date: June 2014
- Page Count: 472
- Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
Books > Fiction > General
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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Set in Victorian England, Thomas’s sprawling follow-up to The Kashmir Shawl combines several elements: a story of a theater company, a thriller, and, most successfully, a portrait of a woman trying to create an equal partnership with a man. Eliza Dunlop is working as an artists’ model when her suitor, Jasper, takes her to the Palmyra Theater, where she meets Devil Wix and the dwarf Carlo Boldoni who are working as illusionists. Wix is ambitious: he wants to own the theater and devises a plan that requires Carlo, Jasper, Eliza, and automaton-maker Heinrich Bayer to work together to swindle the crooked theater owner Jacko Grady. As the theater progresses, the partnership frays; a nearby murder, a kidnapping, and a ghost from Wix’s past add elements of horror and suspense. The heart of the book is Eliza’s long, slow attempt to not only marry Devil but to live in parity with him. Since she has no models for the relationship she wants, Thomas shows Eliza working to invent a new kind of life; a creation as novel for her time as the mechanical illusions at the Palmyra. (July)