The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright @jaimejowright @bethany_house @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

I’m pleased to be sharing my review today as part of the blog tour organised by Love Book Tours. Thank you to the publisher for a digital proof copy, my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

1928

The Bonaventure Circus is a refuge for many, but Pippa Ripley was rejected from its inner circle as a baby. When she receives mysterious messages from someone called the “Watchman,” she is determined to find him and the connection to her birth. As Pippa’s search leads her to a man seeking justice for his murdered sister and evidence that a serial killer has been haunting the circus train, she must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of the killer.

Present Day

The old circus train depot will either be torn down or preserved for historical importance, and its future rests on real estate project manager Chandler Faulk’s shoulders. As she dives deep into the depot’s history, she’s also balancing a newly diagnosed autoimmune disease and the pressures of single motherhood. When she discovers clues to the unsolved murders of the past, Chandler is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than even an abandoned train depot could portend.

My thoughts:

This is an interesting time slip story, set in the USA, full of mystery, murder and ghosts. Pippa in 1928 has been adopted by the circus owners, the Ripley family, but doesn’t feel as if she belongs. Chandler, in the present day, is a single mum, trying to prove to her family that she can carry on working as before despite her current health issues.

The book covers a wide range of topics, from women demanding more independence, to the mistreatment of zoo animals to the impact stress has on someone with an auto-immune disorder. These are all wrapped up in a serial killer murder mystery story spanning a century and linked to the Bonaventure Circus. Pippa and Chandler both have to decide who they can trust, and it may be someone they trust the most who turns out to not be worthy of that trust.

I enjoyed the story (despite struggling with the formatting of the proof copy – to be honest, if I hadn’t enjoyed the story so much the I would probably not have persevered) and look forward to reading more by Jaime Jo Wright in the future.

Author Bio

Jaime Jo Wright is the author of five novels, including Christy Award winner The House on Foster Hill and Carol Award winner The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond. She’s also the Publishers Weekly and ECPA bestselling author of two novellas. Jaime lives in Wisconsin with her cat named Foo, her husband Cap’n Hook, and their littles, Peter Pan, and CoCo. To learn more, visit www.jaimewrightbooks.com

Buy Link 

https://amzn.to/3bzX8UU

A Girl Made of Air by Nydia Hetherington

I’m pleased to share my review for A Girl Made of Air by Nydia Hetherington on my book blog today. Thank you to Quercus Books for a digital review copy via NetGalley – my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift. This book will be published on the 3rd of September in the UK and can be pre-ordered now from all good bookshops.

Synopsis:

A lyrical and atmospheric homage to the strange and extraordinary, perfect for fans of Angela Carter and Erin Morgenstern.

This is the story of The Greatest Funambulist Who Ever Lived…

Born into a post-war circus family, our nameless star was unwanted and forgotten, abandoned in the shadows of the big top. until the bright light of Serendipity Wilson threw her into focus.

Now an adult, haunted by an incident in which a child was lost from the circus, our narrator, a tightrope artiste, weaves together her spellbinding tales of circus legends, earthy magic and folklore, all in the hope of finding the child… But will her story be enough to bring the pair together again?

Beautiful and intoxicating, A Girl Made of Air brings the circus to life in all of its grime and glory; Marina, Manu, Serendipity Wilson, Fausto, Big Gen and Mouse will live long in the hearts of readers. As will this story of loss and reconciliation, of storytelling and truth.

My thoughts:

This story is full of mysteries and emotions, that it is difficult to know where to begin with my review. So I will suggest that first you look at the stunning cover design, which is beautiful and I look forward to seeing it in bookshops soon.

As the synopsis states, the narrator, was a tightrope artiste, who rose up from being an unloved child of Marina hiding in the shadows, to be the main attraction at the circus. The story is so much darker than I expected, and it is an uncomfortable read in places due to the topics covered. However, it is a fascinating story, full of secrets and magic.

An impressive debut novel and I look forward to reading more from Nydia Hatherington in the future. Her writing brought the circus to life, not just the glitz and glamour of the inside of the Big Top, but also how grubby life was for the circus people, camping in fields in all weathers and continually moving around the country. This is a book full of stories within stories with a huge cast of characters.

Nydia Hetherington (from Goodreads):

My first memories are of the Isle of Man, where I lived as a small child. When my family relocated to Leeds, I grew up dreaming of fairies and of the sea (I still do). In my early twenties I moved to London to embark on an acting career, then to Paris, where I continued my theatre training before creating a theatre company and becoming a clown (red nose included). Returning to London almost a decade later, I worked in a shoe shop while studying for a creative writing degree at Birkbeck University. To keep the wolf from my door I’ve had many jobs, including working in shops and cafes and kitchens, sometimes in offices and most recently in an art gallery. These days I live on the edge of London with my husband and our plump (she’s got big bones) cat.

My favourite books often have a touch of the magical about them. At the same time, I love fierce writing that reaches into the depths of the human experience.