“I simply realized I needed the warmth of an audience like a plant needs the sun.”
Mrs. Tom Thumb is only 2-feet, 8-inches tall and is really Mercy Lavinia “Vinnie” Bump. She was born normal size, but never grew much after toddlerhood. Her brain and abilities were only limited by her size and she became a school teacher. All her siblings were “normal” size except a younger sister, Minnie, who was just as short as her. While Minnie is content to live at home close to mom and dad, as is expected of them both due to their size, Vinnie wants to see the world. She doesn’t know how until opportunity comes knocking on their door.
I saw The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb for sale and thought the storyline looked interesting. I bought it for my Kindle through Bookbub. I chose it as the October Online Book Club book and it provided a lot of topics to discuss.
Vinnie joins a traveling show where she is shown off for her size, but gets to sing on stage as well. At first, she has fun and enjoys seeing new places, but she very quickly comes to realize she needs friends to help protect her from the evils in the world. When the owner of the show starts offering private meetings with her, Vinnie realizes she needs to get out of that environment. Luckily, the Civil War provides a way for her to get home, but then she finds she is not content being home. There is one man who might be able to help her – P.T. Barnum.
I thought I was reading a fiction book until I got to the end of The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb and read about how the author discovered writings about a Mrs. Tom Thumb performing for P.T. Barnum. I thought it was a very interesting book before that and now I think it’s even better that there really was such a person. I think the author really tried to see the world from the view of a 2-foot-tall woman trying to be as independent as she could be and see the world. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good fiction story, especially if you liked A Paris Apartment where the fiction story is based on some true facts.