The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron
Genre: historical, inspirational, faith
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Date: March 7, 2017
Reviewed by: Rachel Dixon
Fiction Addict Scorecard: A
Boston, 1926. Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric–even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.
In the months following Houdini’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.*
Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her. Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage.
This is an incredible story brimming with suspense, illusion, questions, romance, sacrifice, and redemption. Spanning the course of Wren’s life, we jump around quite a bit as her story and character unfolds, but it is easy to follow. We also get to see the world through a few different viewpoints which helps to draw your heart into the world of vaudeville.
LOVE – LOVE – LOVE Elliot. He is protective and gentle, yet firm and carries a strength that Wren needs, although she denies it. Wren is such an incredible person. I fell in love with her from chapter one. With her eccentric style and lifestyle, a performer, giving the public the illusion of grandeur…when in reality, her lifestyle is quite simple. A woman with a past that tears at her soul, longing for freedom, but not knowing where to turn. When Agent Elliot Matthews bullies his way on to her stage, her life takes a dramatic turn and the impossible becomes possible.
Wren struggles to forgive herself for something in her past that she has been led to believe is her fault. We follow her on a journey of realization that forgiveness is not just an illusion, but something very real. That it penetrates the very heart and soul of who we are. It shapes and molds us. And that we can be free if we choose to be. But if we spend too long believing in an illusion, it will distort our view of reality.
So, embrace the truth. Let Papa God open your eyes to see yourself as He created you. To see your gifts, your strengths, and the forgiveness that He has poured out on you. Take a step back in time to the Jazz Age. Step into the world of Harry Houdini and Wren Lockhart in the center of vaudeville. Let them dazzle you with a story of truth, forgiveness…and illusion.
I received a complimentary copy of The Illusionist’s Apprentice through BookLook Bloggers and NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
*Blurb taken from Amazon.com description.