Circus of Wonders
Step right up for the most captivating read of the summer . . .
‘FILLED WITH CHARACTER AND LIFE’ The Times
‘UTTERLY BEGUILING’ Daily Mail
‘BRILLIANTLY INVOLVING’ Daily Express
‘EXHILARATING’ Sunday Times, Books of the Year
‘INTENSELY SATISFYING’ Stacey Halls
‘AN IMMERSIVE GEM’ Red
‘JOYOUS, FRIGHTENING, HEARTBREAKING’ Independent
‘DELICIOUSLY VIVID’ Woman & Home
Circus of Wonders is the instant Sunday Times bestseller from Elizabeth Macneal, author of The Doll Factory
England, 1866. When Jasper Jupiter’s Circus of Wonders arrives in a coastal village, Nell soon catches the showman’s eye. Shunned by her community because of the birthmarks speckling her skin, to Jasper she is a prize – she could be his very own leopard girl. But how to make her his?
Soon Nell finds herself the star of Jasper’s show. Suddenly she is famous. Crowds rush to watch her soar through the air. Figurines are cast in her image. Even Queen Victoria wants to see her perform. But is Nell free to live and love as she chooses? And when her fame begins to eclipse Jasper’s own, could she be in danger? After all, the higher you fly, the steeper the fall . . .
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 *
Book experts at your service
What are you looking for?