It looks intriguing. The cover makes you want to open it up and start reading before you check it out or purchase it. Proceed with caution though. because you really can’t judge a book by its cover or even the first couple of pages usually.
I judged Alice Hoffman’s latest book by its cover. It looks amazing with the title The Museum of Extraordinary Things and the remains of a winged mermaid. How can it not be an interesting book? Right?
Interesting? Maybe. Good? Definitely NOT!
The main character is a young girl named Coralie Sadie. She was born with webbing between her fingers, and she lives with her father at the back of the Museum of Extraordinary Things. He’s the owner of the museum and a former magician. And he’s a sleazy slimy monster of a father, if he really is her father. I didn’t get that far.
He’s pretty much a child abuser in my opinion. He takes advantage of her webbing and raises her to believe that any abnormality is a gift from God. I can live with that, except he grooms her from her birth to be an attraction in his museum. He makes her do a tremendous amount of exercising to build up her lung capacity, and teaches her to swim in the Hudson River. When she turns ten he forces her to wear a mermaid costume and swim around in a tank in his museum during the day.
I stopped reading after he forces her to swim naked for men while they watch her. He even teaches her how to touch herself to get hem more excited. That was the last straw. I didn’t read beyond that. I don’t think it was going to get any better.
There’s another character, a young boy, who gives up his Jewish faith to live a life of extreme debauchery. He works as a detective for an old man, and by the time he is thirteen has been frequenting prostitutes etc. The book was not explicit about all of his mess before he managed to pull himself out of the gutter, but still. When the book focuses on him there is a lot of foul language.
I do NOT recommend this book to anyone. I will most likely never ever read another book by Alice Hoffman. This was my first and it is so disturbing that I just can’t imagine giving her books another chance. ICK!