Mrs. Houdini

Mrs Houdini A captivating debut novel meticulously researched and beautifully imagined about the passionate marriage of Harry and Bess Houdini a love story that defied death itself Before escape artist Harry Ho

  • Title: Mrs. Houdini
  • Author: Victoria Kelly
  • ISBN: 9781501110900
  • Page: 457
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A captivating debut novel, meticulously researched and beautifully imagined, about the passionate marriage of Harry and Bess Houdini a love story that defied death itself.Before escape artist Harry Houdini died, he vowed he would find a way to speak to his beloved wife Bess from beyond the grave using a coded message known only to the two of them When a widowed Bess beginA captivating debut novel, meticulously researched and beautifully imagined, about the passionate marriage of Harry and Bess Houdini a love story that defied death itself.Before escape artist Harry Houdini died, he vowed he would find a way to speak to his beloved wife Bess from beyond the grave using a coded message known only to the two of them When a widowed Bess begins seeing this code in seemingly impossible places, it becomes clear that Harry has an urgent message to convey Unlocking the puzzle will set Bess on a course back through the pair s extraordinary romance, which swept the illusionist and his bride from the beaches of Coney Island, to the palaces of Budapest, to the back lots of Hollywood When the mystery finally leads Bess to the doorstep of a mysterious young photographer, she realizes that her husband s magic may have been than just illusion.In surprising turns that weave through the uncertain days of the dawn of the twentieth century and continue into the dazzling 1920s, Mrs Houdini is a thrilling tale that will take you deep into the heart of one of history s greatest love stories asking what drives people to believe in something bigger than themselves even as it reveals the famous magician s most remarkable feat of all.

    One thought on “Mrs. Houdini”

    1. Escape artist Harry Houdini promised his wife Bess before he died that if it was possible would he find a way to speak to her again after death with a coded message only she would understand. Through this book, we get to follow Bess as she struggles through a life without Harry and hoping to get a message from him that he is waiting for her. The book also has a parallel storyline with her meeting Harry and their life together up until his death.I have a longstanding fascination with Harry Houdin [...]

    2. Magical and intriguing, "Mrs. Houdini" was a fast read that was both informative and entertaining.This novel tells the tale of Harry and Bess Houdini -- the married circus and vaudeville team who performed together before Harry became truly famous as an escape artist. While we certainly read about the Houdinis' professional work and death-defying stunts, the real substance of the book is the love story between Harry and Bess, and their quest to determine whether it was actually possible to commu [...]

    3. (DNF @ 40%) Perfectly serviceable historical fiction, but with no spark. I felt like I was just being given a lot of information about the two major time periods (1894 and 1929). Alas, scenes set at a séance, a circus, and an insane asylum are not nearly as exciting as they promise to be. And, as is often the case with these famous wives books – a genre I generally love but can also find oddly disappointing from time to time – the protagonist tries but fails to explain why she finds her hus [...]

    4. What a gift Victoria Kelly gave us with this immaculately researched re-imagining of the incomparable Houdini, the world's most renown magician and escape artist. And from the unique perspective of his wife, Bess. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the story this way, up close and personal, instead of a biography. I particularly loved how Victoria handled the time after Houdini died I won't reveal the end, but it really created resonance with me, leaving me wanting the Houdinis to live on! As they do [...]

    5. I have always found Houdini fascinating and this historical fiction book focuses on his wife Bess and their life from her perspective. The author used alternate storylines that focused on the couple's life before and after Harry's death. While the author did her homework on the Houdini's and their rise to stardom, the story did not flow easily and batches of information were somewhat thrown at you in random paragraphs and inserted into scenes where they may or may not have belonged. It threw me [...]

    6. NOTE: Received as an ARC for review from Netgalley. I didn't know much about Houdini beyond a couple of biopic-type movies and the song from the musical "Ragtime" until this book. I found it interesting that he was confident enough onstage to risk his life night after night, but offstage, desperately needed Bess behind him. The author's research apparently included a biography that quoted Bess extensively, so much so that she used some of the quotes as dialogue for the novel, and I think that ma [...]

    7. More like a 3,5 stars.I picked this one up because I just learnt that my son shared his birthday with Harry Houdini and I think it's pretty cool. Then I realised I knew fuck all about Harry Houdini except the basics.Here comes Mrs Houdini, a book telling the life of Harry and Beth Houdini from Beth's POV.You may or may not like the story itself but this book is extremely well documented. I can tell because I actually checked many of the facts to differentiate real events from fiction, and as it [...]

    8. As someone who knows virtually nothing about Harry Houdini and his life, I found this book fascinating. The story is of Bess, the vaudeville performer who marries Harry. The story is told in two time lines--one from when Bess marries Harry and the second of Bess's attempts to contact Harry after his death. I have no idea where the line between fact and fiction lies in this novel, nor did I care, because the story is gripping and I read this quite quickly. A terrifically interesting novel.

    9. I have always been fascinated with Harry Houdini, illusionists and spiritualists of that time are incredible individuals, so advanced and intelligent, often beyond their time. I must confess however I did not know a great deal of his story. What little I had witnessed in various film cameos of the character did not really instill a great deal of knowledge. So, I went into this story with very little preconceptions and an open mind. I think that helped. Throughout the pages of this tale, the read [...]

    10. Harry Houdini was a larger than life figure; his marriage to Bess Houdini has always been, in my mind, one of history's great tragic romances. Yet somehow Victoria Kelly has managed to make both seem petty and small. Now, I'm no expert on the Houdinis -- unless reading , listening to that super epic Kate Bush song, and being literally the only person to watch the show Houdini and Doyle grants one expertise. Nevertheless, Kelly's depiction of the couple felt wildly out of character to me: the way [...]

    11. Many years ago when I was a girl of 14 I saw the movie "Houdini". Ever since that time I have had a curiosity about the lives of Bess and Harry Houdini. Victoria Kelly's book "Mrs. Houdini" follows their lives from the moment they first met until both of their deaths. Much of the book deals with Bess trying to find some sort of communication from Harry after his death. He had promised to contact her from the other side. This is a very well-written book. Victoria Kelly has done a lot of research [...]

    12. A magical chronicle of the Houdinis early life, and then Bess' quest to connect with Harry again, is the essence of ' Mrs Houdini. A well researched and equally well imagined piece of historical fiction-this tale leaves the reader under the illusion of really knowing Bess & to some extent Harry. I read this 100 year old story in 2 days-a great escape- transporting me back into the glamour, vaudevillian & magical 1900's.

    13. Absolutely magical ! Very insightful. A part of the roaring 20's I never considered or was invested in. A new woman I aim to read about. A historical romance that was a beautiful read and mystery. The truth is beyond our knowledge but she writes a good story. One can only wonder. And I think I always shall.

    14. I enjoyed the second half of the book more than the first. I found the ultra fast romance at the outset to be off-putting and it didn't make me care about the characters or their relationship early on as I had no investment that early in the book. I didn't mind that the book skipped back and forth between time periods, but an editor would have been very helpful, there were too many flashbacks in the 1929 sections that made it confusing. Why bother having chapters in different time periods if you [...]

    15. Mrs. Houdini by Victoria Kelly was a very unique and fascinating read. This is a fictional novel detailing the life and times of the late Bess Houdini, including much about her late magician/escape artist/illusionist husband Harry. The author did extensive research on the pair and the era, and it shows brilliantly in the book. It's told in "current day" 1930's fashion with flashbacks starting around the time Bess and Harry first met in 1894. (Ms. Kelly does this so fast it confused me a few time [...]

    16. Harry Houdini is one of my favorite magicians of all time. I’ve read many biographies, documentaries, and do some of his card tricks to learn more about this eccentric man who seemed larger than life. When I saw that there was going to be a historical fiction novel based on Houdini’s wife, I was excited. Mrs. Houdini is often overshadowed by her elusive husband, and it was refreshing to have her in the spotlight. This novel follows two different timelines. The first timeline is when Mrs. Hou [...]

    17. This was a real find. Bought it for fifty cents at a book sale. Beautifully written, this historical-fiction is an excellent read. Here is a behind the scenes look at the world's most famous magician and escape artist - the great Harry Houdini, as told by the person who knew him best his wife, Bess. Tracing their meeting in 1894 through his death in 1926, a gorgeous love story unfolds, revealing intimate details of Houdini's idiosyncracies, superstitions and insecurities that were kept below th [...]

    18. Historical fiction about the wife of Harry Houdini. The story goes back and forth from their life together and her life after his death. The story after his death is fiction. It was very silly and could never happen in real life. I wish it would have focused more on their life together. I don't recommend this one.

    19. This book just didn't captivate me the way I'd hoped it would. I kept getting distracted by other books, and when I picked it up again, I started skimming to see if I could get into it, and just when I thought it was starting to find its rhythm, it was due back at the library. I may try it again in the future.

    20. This book is really well-written. I especially liked how the chapters went back and forth from Bess Houdini's present day to the early days of her relationship with Harry Houdini. The story leaves me wanting to know more about the magician and master illusionist and his wife.

    21. Well-written and very interesting. I loved how the author handles the question of Harry's communication with Bess - publicly unsuccessful/privately full of hope and love.

    22. I picked up this book in soft-cover from Bookoutlet (I paid for it myself). My personal review of the book is as follows:I really enjoyed the detail depth and complexity of the love story between Harry and Bess, I don't want to say anything more and give too much away, the only thing that kept me personally from really getting into the story was the time jumps. I understand from a storyline prospective why they were nesscery(the ending explains why) however I personally felt like this would have [...]

    23. When Harry Houdini dies he vows to return to his wife Beatrice "Bess" with a message, and she is determined to receive it. She wants to see Harry again, and hopes he can come back to her. Despite the disbelief of her sister and sister in-law, Bess believes she is receiving coded messages from Harry through these photographs by a famous photographer, Charles Radley. Bess suspects Radley has a connection to Harry. As Bess tries to piece together Harry's "message" she recalls her whirlwind romance [...]

    24. I received a free advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.Wow. Just wow. When trying to sum up why I loved this book so much, I just keep thinking "wow." This is one of those books that feels like a gift from the author to her readers - a book that's an experience to read with unforgettable characters that feel like friends and a plot that feels more like a journey with the characters than simply a retelling of their experiences."Mrs. Houdini" expertly combi [...]

    25. Lots of flashbacks in the book - which added to the nature of the story. Great peak into their lives and the people around them.

    26. בס הודיני היא אחת מאותן נשים נשואות בהיסטוריה שזכורות אך ורק בזכות שם המשפחה שלהן, כלומר בזכות זיקתן לגבר מסוים. אין ערך על שמה בוויקיפדיה בעברית (לכל היותר פסקונת בערך על בעלה), אין תיעוד של ממש להופעותיה על הבמה והעובדה הכי משמעותית שידועה על חייה הם הניסיונות להעלות באוב את [...]

    27. I received the ebook in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley and Atria BooksMrs. Houdini, by Victoria Kelly, left too much to be desired for me. The book started slow and I expected that but then it stayed slow and got slower. I wanted to read about a love story and it felt like I was reading more about the regrets of a widow and the woulda, coulda, shoulda’s of her life.The book is melancholy throughout and I just felt very sad each time I opened the book. The book made me dislike Har [...]

    28. I was listening to the audio book. I did not like the reader. After I heard the 5th barb against the Catholic church, I turned it off. If Ms. Kelly thinks she can gain readers by making fun of my church, she is mistaken.

    29. Death is a silence without relief or end, a binding without a lock. Or is it? What if there were a way to escape a thing that may not even be a thing? Wouldn't the greatest master of escape ever, that Merlin of movement, the Great Harry Houdini be just the man to do it? And what, if not love, could animate him to accomplish his most miraculous escape, an escape from eternal silence that would take the form of a message from the other side? Harry and Bess Houdini have journeyed from anonymity to [...]

    30. Honestly, I came into reading this without very high expectations. It certainly wasn't the fault of the author, but there have been a lot of "wife of" such and such famous person books lately and I've found that to be a mixed bag. This book, however, surprised and delighted me. I was instantly drawn to the main character and the author's way of describing her life through memories and her current experiences. Victoria Kelly uses excellent word choices and makes you feel for her characters. This [...]

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