Little – Edward Carey

LittleWhen she was born in a small village in Alsace in 1761, she was tiny, oh so tiny, just about the size of two hands, and not expected to live. Little Anne Marie was stubborn and refused to die, but she was not very good at growing and stopped when she was the height of most people’s hearts. And so she lost her name and was called “Little”. She was an odd-looking little thing, with a large nose that pointed down and a large chin that pointed up. Her mother taught her to read and told her to always stay busy and to always discover. When her parents die, she becomes a servant to Dr. Curtius, a recluse who makes interesting things from wax. He makes body parts, all sorts of body parts, and wonderful heads. The scene shifts when they must flee creditors and hide in Paris. There they make wax heads of notable people, (and some not so notable) exhibit them, and become rather famous. Unfortunately, they also become caught up in the French revolution. Little tells her own story, and the first-person narrative is so well done. I felt that I was there with her through the nice times, the just okay times and the awful times. This book is very, very good, full of wonderful characters, historical events, humor and tragedy. It is laced with lovely illustrations, purported to be drawn by Little, herself. I highly recommend it.

eGalley review                              Publication date 10.23.18

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