When I’m not creeping people’s blogs to find books to read, I’m swiping them from people. Sometimes they know it, sometimes they don’t. In this case, my Aunt Soozie (good thing she doesn’t read my blog, or spend any time on the internet whatsoever, for that matter) inadvertently lent me this book. Trust me, I’ll have it back before she ever notices.

Anyhoo, it was kind of nice because I dove into this book without really having heard much about it (aside from the raving reviews all over the cover). I was immediately sucked in, mostly by the scenery that Sara Gruen creates. The details of Depression-era circus life were fascinating. It really seemed like she had done her research. Upon reading the interview with her at the end, I found out that indeed she had done a lot of research, and parts of the story are based on true anecdotes that she picked up along the way. Very cool, but also disturbing and very sad.

The actual story wasn’t my favorite part. I liked Jacob (the main character) and I loved how she went back and forth between him as a young man and old man. Aside from a few smart-ass quips, he’s basically a humorless character, especially in his youth. This made it hard for me to really fall in love with him, despite liking him for some of his other qualities. I thought Marlena was  a little boring, too. I wasn’t expecting such a romance story, but I guess that’s okay. I don’t want to say too much. Book reviewing is hard.

The bottom line is that I would recommend this book to anyone, if only for the things you will learn about life in the Depression and in a circus. It was easy to read and held my interest, and had me gaping in disbelief at parts.

Anyone else read this/ planning on reading it?

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