What’s it about?
A multi-legged girl in the late 1800s is sold to a traveling ‘freak show’ because of her disruptive presence at home. As the troupe heads unknowingly into the biggest natural disaster to ever strike the U.S., the dramas and intrigues of life among the troupe run rampant, and she struggles just to learn who she can trust – if anyone – and to survive.
My Review of Behind May-Belle’s Curtain
I can see what the author was trying to accomplish with this piece, and there are splashes of brilliant and enjoyable writing contained within, but unfortunately there are just too many things that need work for me to say that I really enjoyed reading it.
The prologue, as it were, is entirely too long and seems relatively unnecessary. What the author was trying to accomplish could have been done in a much neater, less-wordy manner. I’m not sure it was even needed at all, truth be told. I think the story might possibly be stronger if he dropped the whole beginning, started fresh from the mark on the palms, and went from there. Sometimes the readers don’t need to know everything.
The author tended to use the same words over and over again to describe May-belle, and it was a bit disconcerting because he never actually describes her in a way that we can get a good picture of what she looked like. All I know with any certainty is she had “very broad hips”, the deformity that caused them, and pretty eyes. Literally nothing else about her appearance sticks in my mind.
Now, there were, as previously mentioned, some brilliant parts. The slow whipping of the community into hysteria was well-done, with the author perfectly capturing how humans can’t help but work themselves up higher and higher. I also liked the climax. The author described the whole bit in such a way that you could feel the insanity, the danger, and see the death and destruction of it all.
I think the author has potential, but it is not fully shown in Behind May-belle’s Curtain.
Title: Behind May-Belle’s Curtain | Author: P.S. Ballantyne | Publisher: Self-published | Pages: 139 | ASIN: B017QDOVKS | Genre: Drama & Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Forced abortion | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Received a copy free from the author in exchange for an honest review.