In this thrilling new historical novel, award-winning author Cecilia Velástegui again demonstrates her talent for creating spellbinding and haunting period pieces. Lucia Zárate is based on the real-life odyssey of the world’s smallest woman. Pretty and gregarious, Lucia Zárate was just twenty inches tall. A celebrity after her ‘display’ at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, Lucia’s extraordinary story is one of exploitation by sideshow hucksters and a fishbowl existence on the road, from New York to Victorian London. After leaving Veracruz, Mexico, Lucia began her life’s arduous journey among Frank Uffner’s traveling troupe, in the care of an interpreter and protector. Despite Velástegui’s extensive research, the name of Lucia’s interpreter has disappeared. Nonetheless, Velástegui masterfully creates Zoila, Lucia’s companion, as a character of depth and emotion. Zoila is a woman who’s felt the sting of exploitation at the hands of powerful vanilla growers in Mexico, but her linguistic talents and wily temperament help her protect Lucia. Zoila foils kidnapping attempts, teaches Lucía to stand-up to European royalty, and facilitates a budding romance between Lucia and General Mite. We follow the adventures of Lucía and Zoila as they grapple with life and death, finding joy and adventure in their bumpy sideshow journey of more than fourteen years. This is an artfully balanced novel that is a mesmerizing tale of survival, resilience, and the uplifting force of friendship.