Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show
By Frank DeLaney
(Random House Trade, Paperback, 9780812979732, 436pp.)
Publication Date: January 17, 2012
List Price: $15.00*
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January 1932: Ben MacCarthy and his father watch a vagabond variety revue making a stop in the Irish countryside. After a two-hour kaleidoscope of low comedy, juggling, tumbling, and other entertainments, Ben's father, mesmerized by Venetia Kelly, the troupe's magnetic headliner, makes a fateful decision: to abandon his family and set off on the road with Miss Kelly and her caravan. Ben's mother, shattered by the desertion, exhorts, "Find him and bring him back," thereby sending the boy on a Homeric voyage into manhood.
Interweaving a host of unforgettable creations--"King" Kelly, Venetia's violent, Mephistophelean grandfather; Sarah Kelly, Venetia's mysterious, amoral mother; and even a truth-telling ventriloquist's dummy named Blarney--Frank Delaney unfurls a splendid narrative that spans half the world and a tumultuous decade.