A twelve-year-old aspiring performer follows her dream in a novel that culminates at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair
Orphelia Bruce lives in rural Missouri, the corner where Illinois, Iowa, and her home state come together. She can sing and play the piano better than anyone in Lewis County. So when Orphelia’s mother forbids her from taking part in a traveling minstrel show looking for new talent and starring her idol, Madame Meritta, she runs away to join their troupe.
But life on the road isn’t what she expected. She misses her family, even her annoying older sister, Pearl—Momma’s favorite. And it’s not nearly as glamorous as Orphelia imagined. The group performs in a different town every night, which means long hours of travel. Despite her fame, Madame Meritta still has to work hard to keep her band fed and clothed. But performing at the St. Louis World’s Fair could be Orphelia’s big chance. When a long-buried secret changes everything she thought she knew about her family, will she still get to live her dream?
This ebook includes a historical afterword.