MAGRUDER’S CURIOSITY CABINET is a peculiar book with a large cast of odd and colorful characters.
In 1904, Coney Island draws thousands of visitors to its spectacular new amusement park called Dreamland. Seventeen-year old Kitty arrives there with her mother from South Africa, only to end up alone and homeless when her mother falls ill, then mysteriously disappears. Kitty befriends the “Unusuals” working at Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet, a museum of the strange and unusual, and they agree to help her find her mother.
This book was quirky, but also rather dark and sad. My favorite parts were meeting the “Unusuals,” who at the time were society’s outcasts. They got by the best they could. Though I enjoyed the characters, there were too many, and at times they were hard to keep track of. Magruder’s museum sounds like a place I’d love to explore. So many exhibits – from fascinating and creepy to gross!
MAGRUDER’S was an ok read for me. I never felt fully invested in the story, but I thought the author did a wonderful job bringing Coney Island at the turn of the last century to life.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher thorough NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.