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list price: $22.00
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
category: Fiction
published: Sep 2012
ISBN:9780385668934
publisher: Doubleday Canada
imprint: Anchor Canada

The Little Shadows

by Marina Endicott

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0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $22.00
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
category: Fiction
published: Sep 2012
ISBN:9780385668934
publisher: Doubleday Canada
imprint: Anchor Canada
Description

Set in a vanished time, and in the fantastically rich world of vaudeville, The Little Shadows revolves around three sisters: Aurora, the eldest and most beautiful, sixteen when the book opens; thoughtful Clover, who is fourteen; and the youngest, joyous headstrong sprite Bella, who is thirteen. The girls, overseen by their fond but barely coping Mama, must make their living as a singing act after the untimely death of their father. They begin with little besides youth and hope, but Endicott's genius is to show how the three girls evolve into true artists. In gorgeous prose and through unforgettable characters, Marina Endicott takes 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 was born in British Columbia and worked as an actor and director before going to London, England, where she began to write fiction. Her novel Open Arms was nominated for the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award and her second won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for the Canada and Caribbean region.
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Contributor Notes

MARINA ENDICOTT is the author of Good to a Fault, which won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book, Canada and the Caribbean, and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize; The Little Shadows, which was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award; and Close to Hugh, which was also longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award. Endicott has been an actor, director, playwright and editor, and now lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where she teaches at the University of Edmonton and writes.

Editorial Review

Praise for The Little Shadows
"The Little Shadows should come with a warning label: You will stay up too late at night reading this book. And in the morning, your first thoughts will be about its characters. Are they all right? How will they manage?"
—The Gazette

"Endicott catches the flavour of the times with her diction and attentiveness to sensory details, transporting readers to a harsh world mitigated only by personal connections and applause. . . . The bright lights of the stage also cast dark shadows, and Endicott explores both with gentle wisdom."
Edmonton Journal

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Librarian review

The Little Shadows

When Aurora Avery was sixteen, she suddenly found herself in charge of her sisters. Their father and baby brother had died, leaving their mother too distraught to cope. Before her marriage, their mother had worked in vaudeville, and now that she and the girls were turned out of the schoolmaster’s cottage, she returned with her girls to the dodgy and precarious world she had left behind. It was familiar to her, and it was possible for the girls to sing and dance their way to a decent living; there weren’t many better options on the prairie in 1912. So Aurora, Clover and Bella would take to the stage, and Aurora, being the eldest and most sensible, would hold the purse strings.

Rich with atmosphere, The Little Shadows follows Aurora, Clover and Bella as they make their way in the variety and vaudeville theatre circuit. Together, without any real help from their distracted mother, they contend with larger than life personalities, financial crises, seductions, betrayals, and the challenge to continually delight and entertain. Aurora feels most keenly the necessity to provide for her family, so she accepts a marriage proposal from a theatre manager more than twice her age – a solution which seems practical enough until he abandons her in early pregnancy. Clover falls in love with a gifted, idealistic illusionist who does not plan to stay in theatre, and she must choose where her loyalties lie. And Bella, whose one true love is the theatre itself, is required to craft a unique moral code in order to survive.

The Little Shadows is a captivating, thoroughly engrossing novel that handles Dickensian themes with a sparse, Prairie sensibility. Endicott comes from a theatre background, and her love for this world sings on every page.

This review also appears on my blog at www.theteatimereader.wordpress.com

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