Book Review: It Happened at the Fair

It Happened at the Fair


Deeanne Gist

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


I have enjoyed all of Deeanne Gist’s books and It Happened at the Fair was no different. It Happened at the Fair transports us back to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Before traveling to the fair, we meet Cullen McNamara, a farmer from North Carolina, who has dreams of being an inventor. His father pays his way for him to go to the Fair to try and sell his invention of the automatic fire sprinkler. Before leaving, Cullen gets engaged to his childhood sweetheart, Wanda. Cullen is swept away in the enchantment of the fair but he is greatly discouraged when he tries to sell his product and runs into several roadblocks, including his inability to hear some of his potential customers over the loud noise of the fair. Not only are the noises too loud, but Cullen is starting to go deaf as well. In his desperation, Cullen hires Della Wentworth to teach him how to read lips. Of course, Cullen didn’t expect his teacher to be an attractive young lady. Della agrees to teach Cullen, but is still very reluctant in opening up to him and has several suspicions about him. As their lessons progress and tragedy strikes the fair, their friendship deepens and an attraction starts to grow as well. Cullen must soon choose between his love for a girl he’s always known, or this new girl who seems to have captured his heart.


As I mentioned before, I greatly enjoyed this book! The descriptions of the Fair were very detailed and it brought the Fair to life for me. The author also included pictures at the end of each chapter so you could see what some of the exhibits looked like. The author did a great job of telling the story of Cullen and Della but also showing us what the fair was like. I also really liked reading about Della teaching Cullen to lip-read. I felt like I was being taught right alongside Cullen. It was also interesting the way the author jumbled up some words when someone was talking to Cullen, so that we had a hard time understanding them as well. At first I thought there was a lot of spelling mistakes, but then I realized that we were “hearing” the way Cullen was. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends! One more thing, I know a lot of people sometimes skip over the Author’s Note at the end of books but I definitely recommend reading the Author’s Note in this book because the author gives more interesting information about the Fair and more historical details. I hope this review was helpful and that you’ll enjoy the book as much as I did!


I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions stated are my own.

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Have you read any of Deeanne Gist’s books? Which ones have been your favorites?



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