EXTRAORDINARY THINGS AT NORTH SHORE READS
More than 300 people got a special treat on March 26 as author Alice Hoffman discussed her book “The Museum of Extraordinary Things” at the ninth annual North Shore Reads at the Metropolitan in Glen Cove.
“I’m very excited about this book,” Hoffman, who grew up in Valley Stream, said. “It’s a magical look at a family with a secret. Every family has secrets.”
Set in Coney Island at the turn of the 20th century, Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the sinister impresario behind the Museum of Extraordinary Things, a boardwalk freak show that thrills the masses. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father’s “museum,” alongside performers like the Wolfman, the Butterfly Girl and a 100-year-old turtle. One night, Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man named Eddie photographing moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson River. This is the story of young love in tumultuous times.
“I wanted to try my best to preserve this time and bring it to life,” Hoffman, an author for more than 40 years, said. “Stories are timeless. It doesn’t matter if it happens now or in 1911…the emotions are real.”
Hoffman answered questions, autographed books and posed for pictures with attendees. John Canning, an attorney from Sea Cliff, was the master of ceremonies. Participating libraries included the Bayville Free Library, the Bryant Library, the Glen Cove Public Library, the Gold Coast Public Library, the Locust Valley Library, the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Public Library and the Sea Cliff Library, among others.
Since the event’s inception in 2007, when it was just the Bryant, Gold Coast, Glen Cove and Sea Cliff libraries participating, attendance has grown exponentially.
“It went from two libraries and grew into this,” Bryant Library Director Cathy Mealing said. “We can’t believe that we got this much support. This is what happens when everyone works together.”
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