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The Midget's House (A Circus Story...A Love Story...A Ghost Story) [Kindle Edition]

Anita Bartholomew
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)

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Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

Read2Review/Mama Knows Books rates The Midget's House 5 Stars "Awesome! Will read again."
"...heartbreaking at times and thrilling at others... This really isn't a scary ghost story, because you see it from Lucinda's as well as Marisa's points of view...All in all I have to agree with the blurb, this book is 'Haunting in every sense of the word...'"

About the book:

Marisa Delano is thrilled when she unexpectedly inherits the fairy-tale like cottage on the Sarasota, Florida bay front. What she doesn’t know is that another woman, Lucinda Lacey, a sideshow midget who died on the property in 1924, still inhabits it. And Lucinda has no intention of giving up her home to the new owner.

Switching between the carnivals, circuses, and freak shows of the early twentieth century, and the boom-and-bust of today's Florida, Lucinda's life story unfolds as Marisa searches for answers about the strange presence in her new home. The diminutive Lucinda might not be as benign as she first seems. Did Lucinda murder her lover on the day she died? And, if so, is Marisa in danger?

THE MIDGET’S HOUSE was inspired by the author's own house in Sarasota, Florida, that, if local legend is to be believed, was built for the little people of the Ringling Bros. Circus, and is haunted to this day by at least one of them.

Editorial Reviews


"... if you are a reader who likes ghost stories, circuses, tales of love and struggles to hold on to something you care about, then sit down because I have the book for you.

"...heartbreaking at times and thrilling at others.

"I have to agree with the blurb, this book is 'Haunting in every sense of the word.'"
- Read2Review/Mama Knows Books

"Ms. Bartholomew's writing really stands out ... especially when she describes how Lucinda attempts to find her way from the other side to the world of the living. Those interludes had a lyrical and dream-like quality to them."
- Aobibliosphere
"Ms. Bartholomew deftly weaves the past and present into a rich, compelling read. Highly recommended!"
- Victoria Lynne, Author, WITH THIS RING

From the Author

Local legend says my home in Sarasota, Florida, was built for Ringling Circus midgets...and is haunted.

After unsuccessfully searching for the truth about the house's origins, I conjured up its imagined history: The Midget's House.

But this book isn't solely the product of my imagination. While I can't count the hours, days, weeks, months, that I spent searching old records, rare books, and newspaper archives, the greatest contributions to the story came from circus people who have lived what I only imagined. This book couldn't have been written without their help.

Circus historian Bob Horne, past president of Showfolks of Sarasota, a society that exists to benefit circus people, was incredibly generous with his time and documents. Bob supplied much of the detail about traveling shows of the early twentieth century as well as some of the interesting insights about behind-the-scenes quirks of circus life.

Circus performers Margie Geiger (Wallenda), Giovanni Zoppe (Nino), Arthur Grotefent (Wallenda), Aaron Garcia, Marco Lorenzo Robles, Kelsey DelMonte, Trevan DelMonte, and others patiently explained their acts to me.  Some graciously put up with my nosing around and peppering them with questions as they set up their gear and rehearsed for their circus performances.

I must also thank several organizations including Showfolks of Sarasota, the Ringling Circus Museum, and the Sarasota Historical Society.

Product Details

  • File Size: 814 KB
  • Print Length: 294 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0983992207
  • Publisher: Bartholomew&Co, Inc. (October 5, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005T4GLGO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,514 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gives a good name to low-cost Kindle books January 23, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Midget's House was listed as free for a limited time and I snatched it up right then. Whenever I get a free Kindle book (I only download the free ones anymore) and I like it, I feel as if I should return the favor and review it.

Other reviewers have gone into the plot details very well; I suggest you read those reviews. I want to say from the perspective of an avid book junkie that this book is very well written. The story just pulls you in. I could see it on bookshelves at big chain bookstores; I could see it as a book club pick; in other words, some big publisher should take note of this book and make a lot of money off of it! Thanks for a wonderful read!

*I don't know the author; I'm just your average Jane Reader. :-)
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Two Centuries... and so much more October 17, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a fun read. If you are familiar with Sarasota, FL - you should read this book. If circus life is of interest to you - you should read this book. If you like a good suspense thriller/ghost story - you should read this book. Well-researched and well-written, the story carries you along. It was a true pleasure.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, and a great suspense/love story October 11, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
It's so nice to read a well-written novel that also contains fascinating information and is suspenseful besides. The Midget's House is all of this and more. My favorite parts had to do with Lucinda's world in the circus (and the story of her forbidden love), but I also loved the suspense story in the present, and the way the author wove the two parts of the book together. Her research must have been extensive, but it doesn't "show;" everything unfolds very naturally.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book has a few similarities to Water for Elephants but I liked it better. It also reminded me of Rebecca one of my favorite stories of all time by Daphne Dumaurier. I know those two books don't sound like a cross between them would work but somehow it does. Like another reviewer said I felt I got to know these people and cared about what happened to them alot more than I usually care about characters.

I don't want to give away any spoilers but I think one of the reasons its so moving is that you feel sympathy for both the one who is being haunted and the one who is haunting her. The ghost of Lucinda is trapped in the midget's house after her death and is forced to relive her past as a sideshow freak. There is comic relief from some of the characters in the modern day who are bigger oddballs than the freaks in Lucinda's world.

I wish I could do the book justice in a review but all I can say is read this book. You'll love it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting concept... March 3, 2012
By MsJD2u
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading "Midget House," mainly because I enjoyed Lucinda's story. In my opinion, Marissa's story line was not developed or tied into Lucinda's story as much as it could have been. I felt that it was slightly "wanting." I enjoyed the Lucinda story line much better, but it seemed to end a little more vaguely as it was wrapped into Marissa's story. I found the concept interesting, but felt that more could have been said to more closely intertwine the two stories and also to develop Marissa's part in the story. Although this is called a ghost story, it's really more incidental to the main story line. All in all, it was interesting and I do not regret reading the book. However, I think it could have used more development and I found the ending somewhat abrupt.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST. READ. THIS. May 8, 2012
By kklinz
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed The Midget's House! What a completely unique story to tell! I read a lot of books and a fresh idea is very exciting! That the author actually lives(d)? in a midget house and was inspired by the neighborhood whispers about the house explains how this idea could form. To be handed a story like that is a treasure, but to act on it takes alot of courage and initiative!

It's apparant that there was much research and time put into this book. There is heart in it as well - which makes it entirely lovely. The writing is wonderful. It has a steady and easy flow; the action moves along well so that you never reach a point of boredom & you want to continue reading until the satisfying end. The different perspective from chapter to chapter helps with that - it goes from present day to Lucinda's time & also includes a little on the perspective of Lucinda as a ghost in the present. I loved that - it was something I've never seen done before. It was enlightening to think about how a ghost would actually view US and that it may not actually be as clear as we assume.

I've come to appreciate a book that can stand alone on it's own & this book certainly does that! But to write another book with circus history in mind would be very encouraged! That part of the story was especially interesting - the relationships between the circus staff, the things that were going on during that time (war & just the difference in living - 2 kids walking barefoot across country would NEVER fly these days!), how easy it is to see how the circus would have been welcome entertainment back then. Old folks reminiscing about the old days when they were young is really neat, particularly about something so foreign to us now as circus life back in the day.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awash in goosebumps July 31, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book so much I want to take a picture of it and hang it in my heart. I really need to stop overrating the books I really really like and leave five stars for books that I love as much as this one. The characters, the story, the voices are so vivid that reading it was practically a hallucinatory experience for me. I could totally differentiate between individual voices and when the ghost spoke, she sounded like she was giving a fascinating oral history.

Inspired by the author's own Sarasota home and its surrounding history of circus employees, it is a ghost story about Lucinda's early 20th-century life as a circus midget and her doomed love affair with the circus owner. Lucinda's story runs parallel with story of the house's current 21st-century inhabitant, Marisa--a single (divorced) woman with a nice cat and very bad judgement in men. Because of her own personal history with the house, Marisa feels called upon to save the house, surrounding land and its wildlife from developers. She feels pitted against and afraid of Lucinda because she does not know her story. However, we the readers are privvy and sympathetic to the Lucinda's history, learning a little more and a little more, several steps ahead of Marisa, as we go.

I particularly loved the interesting historical factoids and the side stories about the 1918 Spanish influenza epidemic and the effect of WW I on the circus performers. I also really appreciated the acknowledgement of gay love, both then and now. I loved the many details about living in circus communities and the humanizing of the "freaks."

The author clearly did a lot of loving, personalized research into circus history and culture.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming Debut
Absolutely charming! Works as promsed -- a circus story, a love story and a ghost story -- almost seamlessly. Read more
Published 21 days ago by E. A. Whitfield
4.0 out of 5 stars hauntings
Two stories in one. Lucinda's story and Marissa's story. Lucinda was a midget who worked in a circus - she fell in love with the owner of the circus. Read more
Published 1 month ago by L. .G. avid reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome story!
Truly a "I can't put it down" book! Enjoyed every page and loved the details. Highly recommend this book for it's sensitivity and bringing it all together at the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by C. A. Moran
4.0 out of 5 stars Wish there was more to read
I loved it. The characters & storyline were so interesting. I only
wish there had been more fleshing out of the trips to speak with Dapper Don & Snake Boy.
Published 6 months ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars READABLE
Not my usual kind of story but very readable and I enjoyed it also.
Published 6 months ago by gaimarfel
5.0 out of 5 stars unique story
I love this book. It was very interesting and kept my attention and couldn't wait to read the end of the story.
Published 7 months ago by Linda Marino
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Has all the elements I enjoy in a good book. Loved it!
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Ss. Surprisingly Great Story!
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started to read "The Midget's House;" but I immediately became engrossed with the story and the characters. I wanted more of Lucinda's story. Read more
Published 8 months ago by vk1030
4.0 out of 5 stars From the Heights
I did enjoy the book, but felt it was written for a younger reader.
Published 10 months ago by Ronald Winters
5.0 out of 5 stars Bearing Gifts
There is something seductive about subjects as arcane as a sideshow. I can't help but find the word "freak" offensive. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Shashababy
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More About the Author

Anita Bartholomew is a former long-time contributing editor to Reader's Digest, a freelance "book doctor" (developmental editor), and the co-author of Dr. Yvonne Thornton's award-winning memoir, Something To Prove (Kaplan 2010)

There are many legends about the house in the Indian Beach neighborhood of Sarasota, Florida:

That it was built for Ringling Circus midgets... that there is a treasure hidden inside its walls... that it is haunted.

Its true history may never be known, but Anita Bartholomew's imaginings about what that history might have been form the basis of the novel, THE MIDGET'S HOUSE.

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