Circus of Wonders (Paperback)
  • Circus of Wonders (Paperback)
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Circus of Wonders (Paperback)

(author)
£8.99
Paperback 384 Pages
Published: 09/06/2022
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

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
ISBN: 9781529002553
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 271 g
Dimensions: 197 x 130 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A glittering follow-up to The Doll Factory . . . a mark of Macneal's subtlety and originality - Guardian

Elizabeth Macneal’s marvellous debut, The Doll Factory, was a bestselling success. This second book, beautifully written and filled with character and life, cements her reputation as a new talent - The Times

Elizabeth Macneal has done it again . . . Entrancing, tender, captivating. A marvel. I couldn’t put it down. - Sara Collins, author of Costa First Novel Award winner The Confessions of Frannie Langton

Wonderful . . . Glitters and gleams with the grimy stories of a travelling circus . . . Utterly beguiling - Daily Mail

Spectacular . . . A brilliantly involving story, vivid with the sights and sounds of Victorian England. A fantastic read - Daily Express

Exhilarating . . . shows the same rich imagination Macneal revealed in her debut novel, The Doll Factory - Sunday Times, Books of the Year

An absolute triumph. Exquisitely written, intensely satisfying - Stacey Halls, author of The Familiars

Dark but tender, evocative and compelling. I loved it - Laura Shepherd-Robinson, author of Blood & Sugar

An equally satisfying exploration of some of the odder corners of Victorian life . . . a novel that again highlights Macneal’s rich imagination and vivid prose - Sunday Times Ireland, Historical Fiction Book of the Month

A fantastical, absolutely immersive gem of a read - Red

Macneal’s complex characters allow her to question how society treats difference, the price of power and vanity, and the pursuit of self-determination. At turns dark, joyous, frightening and heartbreaking, Circus Of Wonders makes for an absorbing read - Independent

A tremendous read. Richly imagined, vividly rendered, each scene is like an old painting in which light gleams off the detail . . . The story is full-bodied and addictive from the outset, told with pace and verve but never compromising style . . . Circus of Wonders displays in abundance everything readers loved about The Doll Factory . . . an ambitious, enlightening novel - Emma Stonex, author of The Lamplighters

Deliciously vivid . . . every bit as atmospheric as you’d expect . . . A hopeful story of a girl taking charge of her destiny - Woman & Home

Set in the same Victorian London as her stunning debut, The Doll Factory, Macneal's second novel is both thrilling and humane, bringing to life the brutal world of the freak show - Mail on Sunday

You can’t help but be drawn into the exciting and sometimes macabre world of the circus, with its colourful cast of characters - Good Housekeeping

Another seductive slice of Victorian noir - Sunday Times Scotland

Circus of Wonders is confident and beautifully written - Sarah Vaughan, author of Anatomy of a Scandal

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

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

Expansive and tender . . . it really pulls you into this fascinating world. - Beth Underdown, author of The Witchfinder's Sister

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

At turns dark, joyous, frightening and heartbreaking, Circus of Wonders is an absorbing read - Sunday Life

A glittering, soaring, magical exploration of showmanship, voyeurism and storytelling, Circus of Wonders is also a wonderful, sumptuously-written love story. Visceral & cerebral. I loved it. - Caroline Lea, author of The Glass Woman

Engaging and enjoyable - Scotsman

I loved it. Circus of Wonders is a terrific successor to The Doll Factory. I adored the vibrant cast of characters - they are tenderly drawn yet dazzle off the page - Rachel Hore, author of Last Letter Home

I was dazzled by it from beginning to end. What a fabulous, riveting, engrossing story! There's such a creepy undercurrent of dread and violence running just beneath the surface of everything she writes, yet there's humanity and kindness, a palpable love for Nell and the other circus performers that makes all the characters come to life - Whitney Scharer, author of The Age of Light

An enjoyable and engrossing novel, which captivates from beginning to end - Historical Novel Society

The gritty glamour of the circus and the horrors of war. Macneal’s characters are finely drawn, their entwined stories playing out against the backdrop of the big top - Daily Mirror

Wonderful - Woman's Weekly

The author of The Doll Factory returns with more high Gothic Victoriana - i newspaper

Deliciously vivid . . . every bit as atmospheric as you'd expect - Woman's Own

The kaleidoscopic world of the Victorian circus, at once enchanting and grotesque, is vividly brought to life . . . a gripping tale - Northern Echo

Fantastic - Psychologies

Packed with atmosphere - Prima

Wonderful - My Weekly

I loved this story for its plot, its characters and its beautiful writing. The author engages all our senses to explore illusion versus reality, keeps us on a tightrope of emotions and presents us with a truly dazzling show - NFOP Magazine

A gripping exploration of fame, love, hope, friendship and whether we can ever own our own stories - New European

[Macneal's] great strength is in imagining vivid inner lives and narratives for people usually sidelined, who in the historical great-man theory merely provide delicacies and amusements for the rich - Catholic Herald

Brilliantly involving, vivid with the gritty glamour of the circus and horrors of war. - Sunday Express

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Paperback

“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

Hardback edition
1 similar book recommended
Helpful? Upvote 55

“Incredible”

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

Hardback edition
8 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 34
Magdalena Morris

“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

Hardback edition
2 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 29

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