Circus of Wonders (Hardback)Elizabeth Macneal (author)
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The author of The Doll Factory serves up another slice of gothic Victoriana centred upon a girl who is kidnapped only to be thrust into the world of the circus.
1866. In a coastal village in southern England, Nell picks violets for a living. Set apart by her community because of the birthmarks that speckle her skin, Nell's world is her beloved brother and devotion to the sea.
But when Jasper Jupiter's Circus of Wonders arrives in the village, Nell is kidnapped. Her father has sold her, promising Jasper Jupiter his very own leopard girl. It is the greatest betrayal of Nell's life, but as her fame grows, and she finds friendship with the other performers and Jasper's gentle brother Toby, she begins to wonder if joining the show is the best thing that has ever happened to her.
In London, newspapers describe Nell as the eighth wonder of the world. Figurines are cast in her image, and crowds rush to watch her soar through the air. But who gets to tell Nell's story? What happens when her fame threatens to eclipse that of the showman who bought her? And as she falls in love with Toby, can he detach himself from his past and the terrible secret that binds him to his brother?
Moving from the pleasure gardens of Victorian London to the battle-scarred plains of the Crimea, Circus of Wonders is an astonishing story about power and ownership, fame and the threat of invisibility.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 492 g
Dimensions: 224 x 144 x 40 mm
'Circus of Wonders is a soaring, tumbling, whip-cracking book. Elizabeth Macneal has brought an extraordinary group of characters together in these pages; the result is a glittering world, a story as moving as it is deeply entertaining' - Daniel Mason, author of The Piano Tuner
'I loved The Doll Factory and I loved Circus Of Wonders just as much ... An intriguing and beautifully written love story as well as an exploration of the journey from rejection to adoration ... Elizabeth Macneal explores the nature of exploitation, pride and vanity through her vibrant and believable characters' - Jenny Quintana, author of The Missing Girl
'A glittering, begrimed tale of love and self-determination flush with richly detailed prose. Sumptuous, macabre, enthralling; a perfect slice of Victoriana.' - Jane Healey, author of The Animals at Lockwood Manor
'Elizabeth Macneal's novel is spectacular - a book of wonders!' - Alix Nathan, author of The Warlow Experiment
'A beautifully told and immersive look at a complex dance between exploitation and empowerment, and the question of what it really means to have control over your own life. I adored its characters, I was utterly gripped throughout, and I loved having my eyes opened to the troubling yet fascinating world of Victorian circuses' - Naomi Ishiguro, author of Escape Routes
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“A perfect historical novel.”
“ Circus of Wonders” is the second novel from the author of bestselling novel “ The Doll Factory”.
It is 1866, Jasper Jupiter’s Circus of Wonders arrives in the English coastal village where Nell lives. She is... More
An easy 5 stars for me. A beautifully written story about hope, desire,loyalty and love. It has a brilliant cast of characters who all have their own secrets. It never fails to pull you into the big top. If you... More
“Wondrous world of performance and spectacle that is also dark and unexpected”
Elizabeth Macneal's debut The Doll Factory was my favourite book of 2019, so I was really excited to read her second novel. I was especially curious to see Macneal's version of a Victorian circus and how she... More
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