Church Of Marvels was a tale of group of odd characters in early New York. Alphie woke up in an asylum without knowing how she got there. Impatiently waiting for her love to rescue her, she recounted their troubled courtship. After receiving a rambling letter from her sister, Belle, Odile Church set out on a quest to find her that revealed scandalous secrets. Sylvan’s life working hard labor and fighting for money at night was interrupted when he found an abandoned infant. The lives of these physically abnormal characters intersected in a way that made bold statements about poverty, social norms, and love.
The actions taken by the characters were explained with vivid descriptions that awakened the senses. I could almost hear the sounds of the circus Odile worked in, see the gritty sights of the less fortunate trying to survive on the streets of New York City with Sylvan, and smell the pungent odors of the asylum where Alphie was trapped. The unique wording used to describe the unfamiliar scenes and actions made this was a slow read for me, but was worth it! The beauty of this novel was that the characters had what society would call “deformities”, yet they had beautiful souls and exhibited more integrity than those around them. Their zest for life motivated them to make daring choices while seeking the truth. The multiple layers of the people exploded from the page, making it easy to like and root for these abnormally wonderful characters.
I just loved this one and can’t wait to read more by this author.