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Publisher's Summary

The Electric Woman is Tessa Fontaine's astonishing audiobook memoir about a life-affirming journey of loss and self-discovery. Narrated by the author, this audiobook recounts Tessa's life on the road with the last traveling American sideshow and her relationship with an adventurous, spirited mother.  

Turns out, one lesson applies to living through illness, keeping the show on the road, letting go of the person you love most, and eating fire: The trick is there is no trick. You eat fire by eating fire. Two journeys - a daughter’s and a mother’s - bear witness to this lesson in The Electric Woman

For three years Tessa Fontaine lived in a constant state of emergency as her mother battled stroke after stroke. But hospitals, wheelchairs, and loss of language couldn’t hold her mother back; she and her husband would see Italy together, come what may. Thus Fontaine became free to follow her own piper, a literal giant inviting her to “come play” in the World of Wonders, America’s last traveling sideshow. How could she resist? 

Transformed into an escape artist, a snake charmer, and a high-voltage Electra, Fontaine witnessed the marvels of carnival life: intense camaraderie and heartbreak, the guilty thrill of hard-earned cash exchanged for a peek into the impossible, and, most marvelous of all, the stories carnival folks tell about themselves. Through these, Fontaine trained her body to ignore fear and learned how to keep her heart open in the face of loss. 

A story for anyone who has ever imagined running away with the circus, wanted to be someone else, or wanted a loved one to live forever, The Electric Woman is ultimately about death-defying acts of all kinds, especially that ever constant: good old-fashioned unconditional love.

©2018 Tessa Fontaine (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Love this book.

The author read this book with such feeling and it felt as she was reading it, she was reliving it at the same time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Incredible

Life-changing must-read (or must-listen). Beautiful, brave, humbling, with astonishingly vivid imagery. Just so beautifully written.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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taut

There is no doubt in my mind that the story she is attempting to tell is entertaining. I could not finish the audio version because the narration was, the opposite of taut.... I gave it three honest tries and made it 4 hours until I could take it no more.
Whoever taught the author the word taut, should squat on an apricot.

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too detailed

I couldn't finish this. once she started listing every single thing she did in a day I knew I wouldn't make it which is sad because some parts were very beautifully written, especially the parts about her family's history. also the intertwining of the two stories didn't always work for me. interesting idea but not sure this was the best approach. I found myself wanting to know more about her family and less about carnival life, though this story was also intriguing in the beginning.

I am very curious how it ends though so might come back to it later.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful