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It Happened at the Fair

Cullen McNamara is a farmer living in North Carolina with his father. He's never planned on leaving the farm, even though he's allergic to most of the plants. His father is so proud of his invention of an automatic sprinkler system, that he takes $300 (a lot of money at the time) and buys him a booth at the Chicago World's Fair to showcase his invention. Cullen knows that the money is non-refundable, so he goes, leaving behind his fiance Wanda and his whole life. Cullen is having a problem hearing, he's been slowly losing hearing in one ear, and the noise in the Machinery building at the world's fair isn't helping him. One man suggests having a teacher of the deaf children teach him to lip-read the way they teach the children. Knowing he really doesn't have any choice if he wants to sell some sprinkler systems, he hires Della Wentworth. He doesn't plan on falling in love, but what will he ever tell Wanda?

This is a really cute book! I love the story, I loved the characters, and the backdrop of the fair. I love how they seem as though they really could have lived in 1893 and been part of the fair. One of my very favorite parts of this book was the photographs and all of the details that Deeanne Gist researched about the Chicago World's Fair. The photos are especially neat, because there is only one building from that fair that has remained standing, the rest of them were demolished only a year or two after the fair. I have always been kind of fascinated by World's Fairs, mostly because of Meet Me in St. Louis, but also because it's something that isn't done anymore. I think that it's really kind of sad that there aren't World's Fairs anymore, they seem so magical, mystical and romantic!

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