The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Many times this book reads like a mash-up of Among the Wonderful (Carlson) and A Winter's Tale (Helprin). The problem is that the joins don't always fit in quite the right way: Coraline's story living in the Museum gets truncated by the life that Eddie lives in New York. There are digressions that seem promising (for example, Miss Block's social activism, which could have tied in with Hannah Weiss' but didn't quite) and extended passages that don't move things forward. Fitting all this around the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and the Dreamland Fire just felt like padding - one or the other would have worked better, but both was a little too much. I got that fire and water were supposed to be Big Themes here, but, to this reader anyway, it didn't quite work.
ARC provided by publisher.