As they set off on the road to fame and fortune, the Avery sisters join a cast of extraordinary and unforgettable characters – charming charlatans, unpredictable eccentrics, and some who seem ordinary but have magical gifts. Taking us behind the curtain and into their lives, THE LITTLE SHADOWS reveals how the art of vaudeville – in all its variety, madness, melodrama, hilarity and sorrow – echoes the art of life itself.
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A vivid coming of age tale about the beautiful Avery sisters, thrust on the vaudeville stage after their father's death. Set in early 20th-century Canada, it catapults the reader into the beating heart of the travelling theatrical world - the smell of the greasepaint, heat of the spotlights, and high-wire adrenaline are near-tangible. Thrilling and moving this is a glittering jewel of a novel. - Easy Living
There are comforting echoes of both Little Women and Ballet Shoes in this gently absorbing novel about three middle-class sisters forced to support themselves on the American vaudeville circuit after the death of their father ... It's so atmospheric you'll want to throw flowers at the end. - Daily Mail
The three Avery sisters ('The Belle Auroras,' as they become known on the stage) begin with little in their favour besides youth and hope but each one slowly and steadily evolves into a unique and accomplished artist while navigating her way to adulthood among a cast of extraordinary charmers, charlatans, eccentrics and impresarios. Lauded by Margaret Atwood as 'very high quality writing,' Marina Endicott's novel delves into the world of Vaudeville theatre, in all its eccentricity. - Stylist Magazine
The Little Shadows is a novel about art and women, and personal fulfilment and the thrill of performing... She has written an entertaining, moving and original work. - The National Post
The Little Shadows has Endicott's wry sensibility, her pithy lyricism and her skill at pulling the rug out from under the reader's feet. Like the previous novel, this one also concerns itself with big ideas: the point of art, sisterly and familial love and, as the war's shadow extends and darkens, the meaning of life itself. - The Globe and Mail
I couldn't fault the characterisation ... The wedding of the characters to the era makes this book fascinating enough to make me want to go through Marina Endicott's back catalogue. I hope the Endicott home has a broad mantelpiece - if she carries on like this, the awards will keep coming. - The Bookbag
The sisters Endicott creates are believable and beautiful, starting out with little but their raw talent and good-natured hope. The novel's charting of their progression through the world of enticing and seductive Vaudeville is wholly captivating, and so heart-warming it might make you want to take to the boards yourself. This is a novel full of glamour, charm and sultry show business, a must-read for anybody with a penchant for the bright lights and the smell of grease paint. - welovethisbook.com
The Little Shadows is my book of the year. Think of your favourite stories about sisters - the gravity, levity and subtlety with which the lives of siblings are woven together; Endicott puts her own spin on that. -
Marina Endicott's previous novel, Good to a Fault, won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book, Canada and the Caribbean, and was a finalist for the prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her first novel, Open Arms, was shortlisted for the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Endicott has been an actor, director, playwright and editor, and now lives in Edmonton, Alberta.