Nov 30, 2016cknightkc rated this title 4.5 out of 5 stars
I was totally mesmerized by the masterfully crafted CHURCH OF MARVELS - hard to believe this is a debut novel! It is unique and totally different from the books I usually read. There are 4 main characters, all damaged and living on the margins of turn-of-the-century society, but each seeking family, belonging, and acceptance in his or her own way. Suspense slowly builds as 3 distinct storylines are followed until by means of a series of cleverly plotted twists and turns, secrets are revealed, and the lives of these 4 seemingly disparate individuals converge. Of interest too are the interconnections between and among the various supporting players. Very atmospheric and rich in detail (sensitive readers beware!), their tales are told against the background of 1895 New York City with the dark, gritty underbellies of Coney Island and Manhattan on full display. To be best enjoyed, I recommend reading this book in long sittings (if time permits) in order to keep track of the various and intricate story threads. With CHURCH OF MARVELS author Leslie Parry has written a very engaging mystery and created some of the most memorable characters I’ve ever encountered in fiction. I look forward to reading more by Ms. Parry.