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Publisher's Summary

In this riveting, beyond-belief true story from the author of The Borden Murders, meet the five children who captivated the entire world. 

When the Dionne Quintuplets were born on May 28, 1934, weighing a grand total of just over 13 pounds, no one expected them to live so much as an hour. Overnight, Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Émilie, and Marie Dionne mesmerized the globe, defying medical history with every breath they took. In an effort to protect them from hucksters and showmen, the Ontario government took custody of the five identical babies, sequestering them in a private, custom-built hospital across the road from their family - and then, in a stunning act of hypocrisy, proceeded to exploit them for the next nine years.

The Dionne Quintuplets became a more popular attraction than Niagara Falls, ogled through one-way screens by sightseers as they splashed in their wading pool at the center of a tourist hotspot known as Quintland. Here, Sarah Miller reconstructs their unprecedented upbringing with fresh depth and subtlety, bringing to new light their resilience and the indelible bond of their unique sisterhood.

©2019 Sarah Miller (P)2019 and On Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"[A] thorough, fascinating deep dive into the lives of five girls who captured the attention of millions" (Booklist, starred review) 

"Miller demonstrates herself once again to be a dab hand at examining a historic media frenzy and analyzing the legacy of its lore, leaving trails of ill-informed opinion and blame that lingers into the present." (Bulletin, starred review)

“It is impossible not to feel the tragedy of the quintuplets’ lives...eye-opening, thoroughly researched.” (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Miracle & Tragedy of the Dionne Quintuplets

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  • SciFi Nut
  • 05-12-2019

Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Émilie, and marie

the only downside to this great story is that the narrator keeps saying "Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Émilie, and marie" over and over when the quints or the girls could have been said instead. you'll have their names memorized by the end of the book cause it's used over and over. i'd say make a drinking game out of it but you'd be dead within the first hour

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  • Shopbymail
  • 15-12-2019


Anyone who grew up fascinated by the Dionne Quintuplets will appreciate the fairness of this book.

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  • Heather M. May
  • 20-10-2019

loved this!

highly recommend this fair and balanced, well-researched historical biography of the life of the first surviving Quintuplets! it is a story of overcoming neglect and abuse, early childhood fame/popularity, and a coming of age tale. love!!

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