The Illusionist's Apprentice
Wren Lockhart, apprentice to master illusionist Harry Houdini, uses life on a vaudeville stage to
escape the pain of her past. She continues her career of illusion after her mentor's death, intent on burying her true identity.
But when a rival performer's act goes tragically wrong, the newly formed FBI calls on Wren to speak the truth--and reveal her real name to the world. She transfers her skills for misdirection from the stage to the back halls of vaudeville, as she finds herself the unlikely partner in the FBI's investigation. All the while Houdini's words echo in her mind: Whatever occurs, the crowd must believe it's what you meant to happen. She knows that if anyone digs too deep, secrets long kept hidden may find their way to the surface--and shatter her carefully controlled world.
Set during one of the richest, most vibrant eras in American history, this Jazz Age novel of illusion, suspense, and forgotten pasts is perfect for fans of The Magician's Lie, challenging all to find the underpinnings of faith on their own life's stage.
"Prepare to be amazed by The Illusionist's Apprentice." --Greer Macallister, bestselling author of The Magician's Lie and Girl in Disguise
Thomas Nelson, 9780718041502, 368pp.
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. Though the world sees Wren Lockhart as an illusionist on a stage, Jenny Charles is the real woman who lives behind the scenes. How are the personas of these two women different, and how does Elliot manage to see the authenticity behind both? In what ways do Wren and Elliot finally unmask who they truly are?
2. Harry Houdini lived a life of adventure from the stage. In this story, however, we imagine him as a wise mentor offstage, helping to shape Wren into the skilled entertainer she would one day become. As Houdini began to ask deeper questions about faith and spirituality in his final years, how did the debunking of false mediums affect Wren’s view of their shared vaudeville world? Though the story opens months after Houdini’s death, how was he ever-present in Wren’s journey?
3. Wren and Charlotte experienced tragedy in their young lives at the hands of their father. Though she was able to overcome the pain of her past, how did Wren eventually learn to trust again? Did Olivia’s sacrifice for her daughters impact Wren’s ability to reopen her heart to others?
4. The atmosphere of Boston in the late 1920s was flavored by the sights, sounds, and settings of vaudeville, from the experiences of many secondary characters: Connor, Amberley, Irina, Josiah, Al, Olivia, and Franklin. Which characters were living a life of illusion themselves, and why?