The Museum of Extraordinary Things
by Alice Hoffman
It is a work of historical fiction set in 1911, which tells the story of a girl who works in her father’s museum of unusual people like herself. She has webbed fingers and is billed as a mermaid. She meets a young photographer, and, as their story unfolds, they are witnesses to two major New York fire disasters. He photographs the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and watches young women and children plummeting to their deaths to escape the fire. She watches the Dreamland Amusement Park on Coney Island as fire consumes the rides and amusements. It is heartbreaking in what they both helplessly witness and hopeful in what they find in each other.
Robin teaches psychology at the Humphreys County Campus.