I received a copy from Netgalley.
I have no idea if I liked this one or not to be perfectly honest. I didn’t dislike it, but I don’t know if I actually liked it. I snagged this one on a bit of cover lust more than anything reading. And I have a weakness for anything with a circus based theme.
It follows the story of twin sisters Rita and Lo who are the trapeze act in their family’s travelling circus. They move from town to town performing. Rita is the more responsible sister, while Lo is the more rebellious ones. They’ve known the other circus kids their whole lives and are a pretty close knit group.
I did find it totally fascinating how daily life within the circus group was portrayed, who was responsible for what, how the act was performed, the story behind it, was all really interesting. There was a deep sense of togetherness and family community.
However, when in one town, Lo makes friends with an outsider boy, things start changing. The girls are not supposed to have relationships with outsiders. The group moves all the time and the girls are essential to the act. Their father flat out forbids it. So Lo starts lying and sneaking about to be with this new boy she meets, Dean. Who’s nice enough and doesn’t judge her background. He presents a “normal” view of everyday life that she’s never experienced. And Dean’s life is not an easy one.
As they get to know each other more, the relationship changes and becomes something more romantic. Lo’s views start changing, her behaviour starts to change. Rita’s worried about her, and has her own drama when she starts falling for one of the much older men in the circus group, a very close family friend. Lo can’t understand it as Rita can’t get why Lo’s change in attitude. Then Lo discovers a shocking secret about the man Rita is convinced she’s now in love with.
Which adds a whole new element of secrets and family drama. There were some beautifully written passages as their girls struggle with their situation, thought provoking and emotional.
Then the novel takes an unexpected and quite devastating twist. It’s hinted at right at the beginning that something terrible happens and as I read a long I had sinking feelings I knew what was going to happen, but turned out it wasn’t anything like I thought it would be. And that made it all the more heart-breaking and surprising. A bitter sweet ending rounded the story off.
I wasn’t blown away by the novel, and as I said at the beginning I honestly don’t know if I liked it or not. It was…interesting to say the least.
Thank you to Netgalley and Egmont Publishing for approving my request to view the title.