The Eighth Wonder Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
New York, 1897. The richest city in the world.
Beautiful, young and privileged, Rose Kingsbury Smith is expected to play by the strict rules of social etiquette, to forfeit all career aspirations and to marry a man of good means. But she has a quietly rebellious streak and is determined to make her own mark on Manhattan's growing skyline. When the theft of a precious heirloom plunges her family into financial ruin, Rose becomes her family's most tradeable asset. She finds herself fighting for her independence and championing the ideal of equality for women everywhere.
Enigmatic Ethan Salt's inglorious circus days are behind him. He lives a quiet life on Coney Island with his beloved elephant Daisy and is devoted to saving animals who've been brutalised by show business. As he struggles to raise funds for his menagerie, he fears he will never build the sanctuary of his dreams...until a chance encounter with a promising young architect changes his life forever.
Just when Rose is on the verge of seeing her persistence pay off, the ghosts of her past threaten to destroy everything she holds dear. In the face of heartbreaking prejudice and betrayal, she must learn to harness her greatest wonder within.
From Fifth Avenue mansions to Lower East Side tenements and the carnivals of Coney Island, The Eighth Wonder explores the brilliance and brutality of one of the world's most progressive eras and celebrates the visionaries who dare to rebel.
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 14 minutes|
|Narrator||Leinad Walker, Annabelle Stephenson|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||02 July 2021|
|Publisher||Penguin Random House Australia Audio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 32,525 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
742 in Historical Romance (Audible Books & Originals)
2,255 in Historical Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
9,346 in Historical Fiction (Books)
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Top reviews from Australia
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THE EIGHTH WONDER does truly take you on a magical tour of New York during the Gilded Age. I felt like I was walking down Fifth Avenue and through the poverty streets of the Lower East Side, then onto the Coney Island. It makes you think, it could make an amazing movie some day ...
The characters got you in and you had to keep reading to see what happens in the end.
The Eighth Wonder challenges gender equality, unionisation and animal welfare in different times.
I also enjoyed reading more about the author, the research and the backstory. I hope there is another book on the way soon from Tania Farrelly.
With Farrelly's wonderful world building that is so vivid and rich in detail, THE EIGHTH WONDER transports readers back in time to New York during the Gilded Age. From the luxuriant lifestyles and mansions of Fifth Avenue, to the poverty of Lower East Side tenements and vibrant Coney Island boardwalk, I enjoyed being swept up in this fascinating era seen through multiple POVs and remarkable characters.
I loved Rose's determination to challenge societal norms to forge her own place in the world and Ethan, with his humble background and special bond with animals, was quite a lovable character.
#TheEighthWonder explores themes of gender equality, unionisation, animal welfare and rights and is a well-researched and intriguing story of friendship, mystery, family and love.
I thoroughly enjoyed #TheEighthWonder and I'm excited to read more from Tania Farrelly in future. Lovers of historical fiction will not want to miss this one!
Feisty protagonist, Rose Kingsbury-Smith, harbours the desire for a career as an architect like her adored father, Arthur— and her idol, Emily Roebling, the engineer who completed the Brooklyn Bridge. The story begins on this bridge, with an incident from Rose's childhood. It introduces us to Daisy, a memorable Coney Island circus elephant, and the handsome and enigmatic Ethan Salt, the man with a menagerie of rescued ex-performing animals. Rose makes a lasting impression on both man and elephant.
Well-known moguls of the era, such as Morgan and Carnegie, are mere background characters in this colourful adventure. Spirited Rose faces the restrictions of her sex and battles the limitations that New York society places on women of her position. Following the theft of her family's most valuable jewel, Rose is courted by the city's most eligible bachelor. But while marriage will save her family and her inheritance, Rose struggles with adhering to the expectations for women that would spell an end to her burgeoning career. In the meantime, she is drawn to a cause defending the rights and livelihoods of women from the Lower East Side tenements– those working for a meagre wage and fighting their own battles in a system weighted to advantage the city's wealthy landlords.
The relationship between our protagonist and her father portrays touching sensitivity and intimacy. So, too, the richly drawn relationships between the female characters of her acquaintance are sympathetic and convincing. The entire gamut of emotions will have you flying through the pages. The narrative is a wonder of nuanced yet vivid language, offering poignant depth splashed with delightful description. Every page is a delicious escape into another world.
As Rose pursues the desire to design the buildings she dreams of, her resilience is sorely tested. Rose's society-driven mother proves to be a fly in the ointment, while men from different sides of the tracks each have an agenda concerning Rose's future. I found myself urging her on, as determined to make her own choices, Rose is challenged to overcome the many hurdles of the time.
Tania Farrelly is a terrific new talent and a beautiful storyteller. She is also a graduate of the Fiona McIntosh Commercial Fiction Masterclass— Fiona’s stamp of approval is quoted on the cover. The Eighth Wonder is just as promised by the author extraordinaire—‘I was hooked from the first page' too.