It Happened at the Fair
By Deeanne Gist
Howard Books, 2013. 432 pgs.
Cullen McNamara has invented a fire sprinkler system that is impressive enough to get him to 1893 Chicago World’s Fair to display his work and try and find an investor. Cullen is partially deaf and unable to hear in the Machinery Hall due to the noise. He finds beautiful and intelligent teacher of the Deaf amidst the chaos of the Fair and persuades her to tutor him in lip reading. Della Wentworth hesitates since she has lots of work to do and when she finally gives in it is due to his charms and persistence.
Cullen and Della have a great relationship in this book and play off each other really well. I enjoyed the descriptions of the fair and this era of new invention. The history is well researched and the parts that involved the Deaf school were portrayed as accurate at the time for teaching lip reading and talking instead of American Sign Language. The romance was just the right amount as well as the always needed suspenseful moment where the good guy actually gets what he wants in life. Gist always has an exciting love story but makes it a clean read.