The Floating Theatre by Martha Conway @BonnierZaffre @marthamconway


Book Description:

Ohio, 1838. To save the lives of others, a young seamstress must risk her own. 

When young seamstress May Bedloe is left alone and penniless on the shore of the Ohio, she finds work on the famous floating theatre that plies its trade along the river. Her creativity and needlework skills quickly become invaluable and she settles in to life among the colourful troupe of actors. She finds friends, and possibly the promise of more …

But cruising the border between the Confederate South and the ‘free’ North is fraught with danger. 

For the sake of a debt that must be repaid, May is compelled to transport secret passengers, under cover of darkness, across the river and on, along the underground railroad. 

But as May’s secrets become harder to keep, she learns she must endanger those now dear to her. 

And to save the lives of others, she must risk her own . . .

A gloriously involving and powerful read for fans of The Essex Serpent and Tracy Chevalier’s The Last Runaway.

My Thoughts:

May is a fabulous character who I instantly warmed to. She is very straight talking at a time when it certainly isn’t acceptable for women to do so. I found it so endearing though as other characters struggled with what to make of her. It also brings a slight humour to the story in parts.

There is a whole array of characters that we get to meet along the way. Some are likeable and some definitely not so likeable. Slavery is also something that was very rife and makes for some uncomfortable reading.

I loved that the story is based on a boat. It really adds a little something to the story as the people on board are almost like a family. Hugo who is the owner, I wasn’t to sure of at first but the further into the story we go the more I grew to like and appreciate his character.

The Floating Theatre is a well written and emotive story that had me totally engrossed. It is beautifully written and the author draws the reader in right from the first page. I felt like I was right there in the same era as the characters, experiencing everything for myself. My first book by the author and certainly won’t be my last.

My thanks to Bonnier Zaffre Books as I won a copy of this book in a giveaway on their Facebook page.

The Floating Theatre is available to purchase from Amazon. (Please note that link used is an affiliate link).

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