The Museum of Extraordinary Things is a novel that belongs in the very museum that gives it its name. Alice Hoffman’s brilliant weaving of history with the fictional lives of Coralie and Eddie make it difficult to believe that these two did not actually live the lives that were told of in this book. This is a story of innocence, of people who are wonders to behold but called freaks of nature by the populace that paid to see them, and of love in its many forms. This novel was beautiful, even in its gruesomest moments, during the fires that begin and end this tale. While I was familiar with the first, the latter was new to me and seemed so unbelievable I had to look it up and was astonished to find it was real. And though the story starts off slow, it blossoms like the cereus plant into the wonder that it is, and is over too soon.