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The Electric Woman
The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts | Tessa Fontaine
38 posts | 18 read | 37 to read
Tessa Fontaines astonishing memoir of pushing past fear, The Electric Woman, follows the author on an autobiographical, life-affirming journey through loss and self-discovery after running away to join the circus. 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 journeysa daughters and a mothersbear 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 couldnt hold back such a woman; 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, Americas 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.
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litsybookclub
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Discussion Question Number Three.

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litsybookclub
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Discussion Question Number Two.

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litsybookclub
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Discussion Question Number One.

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Daisey
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this memoir that blends the story of the author‘s season in a traveling sideshow act with her mother‘s life after a serious stroke. The way the two parts were woven together worked well, but I did enjoy the stories about the sideshow more. It‘s not something I ever really felt the need to learn, but it was interesting. I also enjoyed the bits of history she included (see the comments for my favorite).

#LitsyBookClub #audiobook #memoir

Daisey Before hospitals had neonatal facilities, some premature babies‘ lives were saved as part of an exhibit of babies in incubators at Coney Island. https://lithub.com/how-the-coney-island-sideshow-saved-thousands-of-babies/ 2mo
TalecArashi Woah! :O 2mo
47 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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litsybookclub
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Thank you to @Theresa @SoniaC @Daisey for joining our discussion of The Electric Woman. We love our bookclub members and the discussions!

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litsybookclub
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Please join us for our live discussion of The Electric Woman by Tessa Fontaine at 2pm ET. Link to join:

Click https://us04web.zoom.us/j/621756296

38 likes1 stack add
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Daisey
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I started this month‘s @litsybookclub pick on my way to work this morning and continued listening on my evening walk. I didn‘t quite know what to expect from the blurb, but so far I‘m intrigued by the stories of joining the sideshow.

#LitsyBookClub #memoir #audiowalk #audiobook #Hoopla

BarbaraTheBibliophage I really enjoyed this one! 2mo
Daisey @BarbaraTheBibliophage I think I saw your review when I shelved it on a Goodreads last night. I'm really enjoying the stories of the sideshow so far! 2mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Daisey Nice! It‘s certainly a unique story. 2mo
40 likes3 comments
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Graciouswarriorprincess
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My library haul. The electric woman is this month‘s @litsybookclub selection. And I can‘t wait to watch the movie as I loved the book!!

4thhouseontheleft I watched the movie recently, it was good! 2mo
Graciouswarriorprincess @4thhouseontheleft If it‘s anything like the book, I will love it. I am also sure that I will cry as I did when I was reading the book! 2mo
CaramelLunacy I liked the movie, but thought the book was better - just because it pieced together so many other connections 2mo
Graciouswarriorprincess @CaramelLunacy I haven't watched the movie yet but hoping that I like it. The book is always better. :) 2mo
49 likes4 comments
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litsybookclub
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New month, new book! We hope that you will join us in reading “The Electric Woman” this month. We Zoom every month for our meeting. Questions,please reach out to @Bookworm83 or @Graciouswarriorprincess . Happy reading!

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Kappadeemom
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Reading with the pupper

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Kappadeemom
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Breakfast and a book 👍

Heideschrampf Yum! 8mo
53 likes1 comment
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stephothebesto
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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1. Teleport. If Sookie Stackhouse taught me anything, it‘s that you don‘t really want to know what people are thinking. Plus, think of all the places you could see!
2. The Electric Woman was a unique memoir experience.
3. I make my resolutions in the early Spring. It‘s a more energy-producing time for me.
4. The Vikings on Amazon Prime
5. 👍🏻♥️👍🏻

#friyayintro @howjessreads

Laughterhp Haha that was my thought too! I don‘t want to be able to read anyone‘s mind!! 11mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Laughterhp 👊🏻 Right!! 😎 11mo
Gennic Agreed! I would not want to read minds! 11mo
Traci1 Yes, poor Sookie. 11mo
103 likes4 comments
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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The author runs away to join a sideshow after graduate school. It‘s dream fulfillment, and an escape from the reality of her dramatically ill mother. Fontaine is a skilled writer who weaves a strong story. She doesn‘t linger in the depressing moments, and isn‘t afraid to make herself look a little odd. Read it if you like memoirs about relationships, with a lot of quirky thrown in.

Full review www.TheBibliophage.com
#thebibliophage2019 #netgalley

Soubhiville Oh fun! I used to do fire eating/ fire prop performance with a couple of small traveling groups. In the “good old days”! Lol. 🔥 11mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Soubhiville OMG! That‘s cool! (Or actually hot ...) 😎 11mo
106 likes5 stack adds2 comments
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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“Walking is, in its most basic form, the act of falling and catching yourself.”

I like it when an author can make think about a completely normal action in an entirely different way.

tpixie Interesting!!! 11mo
92 likes1 stack add1 comment
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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Fontaine has a unique voice and story. Glad I‘m finally giving her book a go!! #netgalleycatchup #whydoigetsobehind

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nosferatoos
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MEM✈️PIE Florida bound for the holiday. Happy Turkey Day Vacation.

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EKonrad
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Pickpick

Fontaine's story of joining a circus sideshow after her mother suffers a series of devastating strokes is both captivating and heartbreaking. The reader gets introduced to a crazy cast and really gets an inside look into how circus people live. Because some of the portions were written separately for literary journals, there were sections that felt repetitive. Second, the book did feel a little on the long side. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #Netgalley

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Theresa
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Pickpick

I've read a lot of books I've given 4 stars to, but I'm stingy with 5 stars. I have to basically get a book hangover in order to give something 5 stars. This book definitely qualifies. Tessa Fontaine weaves together the story of her season traveling with a carnival side show and her mother's series of massive strokes. I know, it sounds odd, but give it a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Texreader Brilliant review 1y
41 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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Well-ReadNeck
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#MonthOfMemoirs

How can you pass up a memoir from someone who up and joined a circus? Another author who will be attending the Decatur Book Festival next weekend #DBF2018

https://wellreadneck.wordpress.com/2018/08/27/the-electric-woman-a-memoir-in-dea...

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keithmalek
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Not only was this a great book, but the author looks like this. I know that that doesn't matter, but it doesn't hurt either.

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keithmalek
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keithmalek

An apt quote about personal reinvention:

New worlds call for new yous.

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keithmalek
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This guy is talking about his pet boa constrictor. How creepy is this?

LauraJ My cat does that. Is he going to eat me? 1y
keithmalek @LauraJ Probably. 1y
LauraJ @keithmalek there are worse ways to go. 1y
CouronneDhiver Ewww. Nope! 😐 1y
17 likes4 comments
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Expandingbookshelf
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Real talk: I love it when people are late to meet me for dinner. Because that means I get to sit at the bar with cocktail and my book. Books are great. Lemon drop martinis are also great. When you combine them...*chef‘s kiss*

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Gina
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This one caught my eye. Any thoughts?

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sarahjane1077
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Pickpick

This book was gorgeous. You go in thinking you‘re going to read a quirky memoir about a woman doing a sideshow for a season for just the kitsch or novelty factor. Instead, you get a beautiful story about mothers and daughters and how they love and hurt each other, finding friends in unlikely places, and finding good when you look for it. I could not love this book any more. Also met the author, and she‘s a sweetheart. So there‘s that.

KateFulfordAuthor If you need another recommendation, may I point you to my People‘s Book Prize nominated debut? Sassy female narrative, laugh out dialogue and a pacy plot. Check the link in the bio for 2 free chapters, reviews and more. 2y
12 likes1 comment
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ElishaLovesBooks
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This is my belated Mother‘s Day #bookhaul 📚 My amazing husband got me a very generous gift card to the bookstore! I even surprised myself and didn‘t spend it all! There was a sale and I had a coupon!! Yay for good deals!! And I have a sizeable amount to spend another time!! 📚😊♥️

Reviewsbylola I‘ve heard great things about Jane Young and I‘ve been wanting to read Mercy. 2y
ErinSueMreads Norse mythology is soooooo good 2y
ElishaLovesBooks @Reviewsbylola Me too!! @ErinSueG Yay!!!! I can‘t wait! 2y
See All 6 Comments
Nute Great selections. 2y
erzascarletbookgasm Just Mercy is a great and important read 👍 2y
ElishaLovesBooks @Nute Thanks! @erzascarletbookgasm Yes! It seems like a book that is so necessary. I‘ve heard such great reviews about it. 2y
84 likes6 comments
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sarahjane1077
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My next read. And the author will be at our MFA residency, so I can get it signed. Also, isn‘t it lovely when you like an author AND they‘re a lovely person?

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VeeNasty116
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Pickpick

Not really a memoir person, but this was delightful. It felt a bit exploitative of the folks who work the show, but I suppose any person who joins a show for a season and writes about it would feel that way.

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Redwritinghood
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Pickpick

I received a copy of this from #netgalley. Two years after her mother experiences a devastating stroke and still severely disabled, her parents decide to take a trip to Italy. The author decides to spend a season with a traveling sideshow to take her mind off her grief and worry. The work is grueling and she has to be fearless to learn the acts. Fascinating look behind the scenes and at the lives of the people who work the shows. Stellar writing.

RaimeyGallant Sounds really interesting. 2y
Redwritinghood @RaimeyGallant The writing is also really good. I recommend it. 2y
76 likes1 stack add2 comments
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MPL
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3 of our picks for #newbookstuesday!

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balletbookworm
Pickpick

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 and forth unnecessarily in time - but it is really interesting.

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MrBook
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#TBRtemptation post 3! Just released. This memoir is for anyone who imagined running away to the circus, wanted to be someone else, wanted a loved one to live forever. Tessa Fontaine lived in constant emergency as her mother suffered through a series of strokes--which only fueled her mother's dream to visit Italy. Tessa joined the World of Wonders, becoming escape artist, snake charmer, Electra, & more. #blameLitsy #blameMrBook 😎

Redwritinghood I‘m reading an ARC of this right now and really enjoying it. 2y
77 likes6 stack adds1 comment
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sarahjane1077
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My book order came in. So excited I don‘t know what to read first.

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Skeebies05
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The library has this on audio. Im in an audio rut. I was excited when I saw they had this one though, so fingers crossed.

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Well-ReadNeck
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Pickpick

What a delightful, surprising book. This memoir follows the author alternatively through a stint in a carnival sideshow and through her mother‘s life after suffering from a massive stroke. She ties the two narratives together by reflecting upon her mother‘s adventureous personality and her desire to celebrate and be inspired by her. Lovely and unexpected. #netgalley

135 likes9 stack adds
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Well-ReadNeck
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OMG! WHAAAAAT?!

So psyched to get this auto approval notice. Of course, I immediately dumped half of their upcoming catalog into my shelf!!! So much for slowing down with my #netgalley requests??!??!

🤓🙌🏼💫🍻🤩👏🏼🚀🏆🎉👊🏼🤑💯🌟🔥🤗💃🏽👍🏼

kyraleseberg Congrats, that is AWESOME!! 🤗 2y
Maria514626 That‘s the keys to the candy store! 2y
AmyG Wow 2y
See All 13 Comments
Jess7 Congrats!! 2y
Brooke_H Wow!! Nice!! 2y
wordslinger42 Congrats!!!! 2y
BlameJennyJane Cool!! 2y
Christine11 Exciting! 😊 2y
Samplergal Wow. That is excellent stuff!!! 2y
Chellebearss Cool! 2y
FantasyChick Yay!!!! 2y
mrozzz Nice!! 2y
rather_be_reading awesome! 2y
142 likes13 comments