The Show Must Go On
by Mary W. Evans
Enduring Press

"Gertrude and Lovella Edinger, Talented Juveniles, Will Open Tonight in Vaudeville at Naugatuck, Conn. —Booked By Kaplan Theatrical Syndicate, New York."

It's 1900, and Maggie Edinger enrolls her two young daughters, five-year-old Gertrude and six-year-old Lovella into The Gibbs Academy of Dance, to the dismay of her farmer husband. It is the beginning of a life lived vicariously through the girls, as they become professional vaudevillians. Maggie desires a more exciting life than that of a farmer's wife and becomes ambitious for her daughters. At first, her husband, Walt, agrees to the long absences in order to pay off a debt incurred because of a devastating storm and to build a nest egg in case of another crop failure. Through hard work and Maggie's determination, the girls become successful, traveling throughout the country from one booking to another and what begins as a short-term goal becomes an on-going adventure. Walt resents his wife's willingness to leave their life on the farm for months at a time, and their relationship suffers. Although the girls love entertaining, they miss their father and their home. It isn't until ten years later, that events cause Maggie to reevaluate her decisions.

Through realistic dialogue, Mary W. Evans captures the youth of that era. The sisters' conversations are age appropriate, and the romance of sixteen-year-old Gertrude has an appealing innocence. Historical novels bring stories to life by paying careful attention to details of the particular era. Evans takes the reader into the early 1900s with historical accuracy. Besides the experiences of her theatrical family, she draws on her own theatrical background to create a well-crafted novel.

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