My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is at once a difficult book to read and an easily flowing tale that will captivate your senses and make your heart bleed for the main character.
The difficulty is not found in the writing style. The author has crafted a beautiful book full of memorable characters that capture your heart and make you really feel for them and their various plights. The main character is a strong female protagonist but does not come off as a staunch feminist. She has a layered personality including a light and silly side that makes you love her.
The difficulty comes in the subject matter. If you have read other books about abused women, such as Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen, then you know how traumatic reading such novels can be. This book is at times heart-wrenching, but beautiful just the same. Any woman who has been in an abusive relationship will no doubt find something to identify with here.
Family and friendships and unlikely bonds take centre stage in this novel and remind us that not all family has to be blood relation. The history of the circus and the demons it possesses makes for an interesting and fulfilling side story that I thought worked really well.
Where I felt this book went awry, was the ending. This was such a serious book throughout, and I expected a big finish where the bad guy got his in the end. I never felt that happened. His goodbye was perhaps creative, and most definitely original, but not altogether believable. In fact, I thought it bordered on silliness. I was left with questions about the safety of the main character and her child.
Still this was a book worthy of the time to read and I will always be happy I had the chance to do so. It is very special to me, for many reasons. I would encourage others to give it a read and form their own opinions about it.
This is the kind of book you want to share with someone you love. Life, second chances, courage and the bravery we don’t always believe we possess until we have to face a situation that draws it out of us are all prevalent themes in this book.
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.