The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts

The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts

A daughter?s astonishing memoir of pushing past fear, through life in a traveling sideshow and her mother?s illness 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 A daughter?s astonishing memoir of pushing past fear, through life in a traveling sideshow and ...

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Title:The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts
Author:Tessa Fontaine
Rating:
Genres:Autobiography
ISBN:0374158371
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:384 pages pages

The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts Reviews

  • Kasia
    Jun 27, 2018
    This one was just okay for me. I felt like it badly needed an editor, for one, and the parts about her mother never really coalesced with the rest of the narrative. I felt like I never really connected with the author and her motivations, and I never got the feeling she was really givi...
  • Melissa
    May 07, 2018
    Tessa Fontaine has a very good writing style and really makes the two story lines of her mom?s illness and her summer with the traveling side-show come alive. I don?t quite agree with how she laid out the timeline of the book - there are a few places where it seems she jumps back a...
  • Trina
    May 08, 2018
    I really ENJOYED this book, for all the reasons most of us would: the "freak" show, the last travelling sideshow in the US, state fairs in blistering heat, scary feats of daring, snakes, knives, menacing carnies, etc. There were some great characters among her own crew. But I ADMIRE th...
  • Amy
    Jun 05, 2018
    I'm such a sucker for a great memoir and can't rave enough about,  The Electric Woman . Tessa Fontaine shares two death-defying stories...her own and the incredible story of her mother who defied all predictions of death for many years after suffering a series of strokes. Many of u...
  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)
    May 08, 2018
    I received a copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for my review. Two years after her mother experiences a devastating stroke and is still severely disabled, the author?s parents decide to take a trip to Italy. The author decides to spend a season with a traveling sideshow to take ...
  • Diane Yannick
    May 30, 2018
    This debut memoir was an interesting read. I once knew a young, ?retired? carnie couple and ever since hearing their stories I?ve been super interested in circus/carnival life. I remember at the DE State Fair they used to have freak shows (yep, that?s what they were called) but...
  • Ann
    Sep 04, 2018
    So, so good. Gave me lots of feels. It was like climbing inside the author's brain (in a good way). I got very interested in the concept of "hacking it" and why we value it so much. I seriously thought about it for days. ...
  • Rachel Watkins
    Apr 09, 2018
    Tessa Fontaine is a brave woman: a snake handler, a fire breather, a daughter who is losing her mother to a massive brain injury. Her memoir of her time traveling for a season as a performer in the last traveling sideshow is more than a documentary of freak show. It is the story of a d...
  • Becky Loader
    Jun 25, 2018
    Did you ever want to run off and join the carnival? Eat fire? Handle snakes? Nope, neither did I. Tessa Fontaine has a dynamic mother with whom she has had a tumultuous relationship. What about that old saying that there can only be one alpha dog--one boss mare? It is the same w...
  • Rhonda Lomazow
    Mar 29, 2018
    So so good a look at Carnie life family relations.Tessa Fontaine story kept me turning the pages.#netgalley #fsg ...
  • Pam
    Jun 19, 2018
    I just finished the best memoir I've read in years -- TheElectric Woman by Tessa Fontaine. It?s about a young woman who literally leaves the difficulties of her life behind to join the circus as a performer. She works as a snake charmer, fire eater, and ultimately as the woman who w...
  • Kristine
    May 01, 2018
    The Electric Woman by Tessa Fontaine is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-April. This is the autobiography of Fontaine, a female sideshow performer who, for a total of 150 days, learns skills (such as fire-breathing, snakecharming, escaping from handcuffs, sleight of hand m...
  • Danielle
    Mar 29, 2018
    This is a beautifully written personal story about facing one's fear while going through parent's illness and joining a traveling sideshow. You may think both stories don't intertwine but they do. Ms. Fontaine goes back and back forth with her story by sharing how both worlds struggle ...
  • Sonja Arlow
    May 30, 2018
    3.5 stars Many years ago, my aunt married a carnival mechanic. The marriage didn?t last long but while they were together I was given the opportunity to work at the carnival. As a 13-year-old getting unsupervised time in a carnival felt like an amazing gift even if it meant wor...
  • Tania
    Sep 25, 2018
    This is a memoir told in alternative chapters, telling the story about the author joining the last American sideshow, the World of Wonders, and also sharing her feelings about her mother having a major stroke. I always find 3 star reviews to be the most difficult of all. I liked it,...
  • Lesley
    Mar 31, 2018
    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of this book. After her mother suffers from a debilitating stroke, Tessa decides joins a traveling sideshow. The story nicely parallels her mother's story of progress with Tessa's time in the World of Wonders. I could almost smell the s...
  • Marybeth Taranow
    Apr 29, 2018
    I requested this book because I love anything related to freak shows and carnivals. This did not disappoint. This was full of self discovery, strength and healing. I will recommend this book highly and will purchasing a physical copy as well. ...
  • Bonnie Brody
    Apr 29, 2018
    When I was a child of a certain age, my favorite book was Toby Tyler. He was a young boy who joined the circus. I thought that was the neatest thing. In 'The Electric Woman', Tessa Fontaine, a grown woman, decides to join a real carnival, specifically their side show. She tells them sh...
  • Molly
    Jun 13, 2018
    Usually I find memoirs by white women exhausting. Their fish-out-of-water stories strike me as exploitative, both of the reader and the people they encounter on their journeys to (insert eyeroll here) self-discovery. Tessa wasn't born into the sideshow world, and while she only liv...
  • Amy Morgan
    Nov 28, 2017
    Thank you Edelweiss for my review copy of this book. I absolutely loved reading this story. The author presents a good balance of her life before and during her time with the sideshow. She has a great grasp on the peopke around her and really makes you feel a part of whst she was exper...
  • Jessica Traver cashen
    May 01, 2018
    Fantastic read. Well written with some very colorful characters. I was engrossed from start to finish. This is about Teresa's mothers struggles while getting better after a stroke and about Tessa being in a Carnival. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book ...
  • Keith Beasley-Topliffe
    Mar 29, 2018
    Fascinating. Tessa Fontaine, a young woman (with an MFA in literature) joins World of Wonders, the last traveling sideshow, for their 2013 season--150 days of long hours, hard work, and performing as a bally girl (outside the show, helping lure customers inside with fire eating and suc...
  • Fitzie
    Sep 15, 2018
    Five blazing, shooting stars for this book. I can?t say enough good things about it. Fascinating & weird & honest & human, not to mention incredibly well written. I?ll be thinking about this one for a long, long time. ...
  • *TUDOR^QUEEN*
    Apr 09, 2018
    I received an advance reader copy from publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux via NetGalley. Tessa Fontaine was 30 when she was invited for a 5-month stint with America's last traveling sideshow, the World of Wonders. She started as a bally girl (someone that lures people to buy ticket...
  • Shannon Dyer
    Jul 30, 2018
    A fascinating look at carnival life. ...
  • lucky little cat
    Oct 09, 2018
    Tessa Fontaine's MFA-project valentine to the last traveling carnival sideshow covers her 150 days on the road with the show as a bona fide fire-eating geek. Read the book for Fontaine's many candid conversations with the sideshow's veterans. If you've ever wondered what happens at ...
  • Kathryn
    May 10, 2018
    I have to admit that when I won this book in a giveaway, I was not sure if I would like it. I put off reading it, but then I opened it and I was hooked. Tessa Fontaine runs away from her problems and joins the circus; well, not quite. Tessa becomes intrigued by the sideshows that pe...
  • Mark Jobs
    Jan 26, 2018
    Loved this book! Tessa Fontaine gives you a glimpse into the rarely seen world of a traveling carnival show, while paralleling an ongoing traumatic family struggle. Gritty and glamorous, heart breaking and heart warming, funny and frightening; Fontaine takes you up and down through thi...
  • Bob Carleson
    Jan 28, 2018
    The trick is, There is no trick. Sage words coming from the author as she plunges into an unknowable world of a side show of all things. Why a side show we ask. The only thing comes to mind has to do with adrenaline rush and exploring a curious new world. Ms. Fontaine took us on a nerv...
  • Dave Harris
    Feb 01, 2018
    What a wonderful book! Ms Fontaine joins the last traveling U.S. sideshow. She explores the closed society of the "carney" and is faced with the contrast between the performer?s confrontation of stage danger and the display of real life bravery by her Mother. This is a sensitive trea...