Circus of Wonders – Elizabeth MacNeal [SPOILERS]

Our fourth #TsundokuSquad monthly book (April) was ‘Circus of Wonders’ by Elizabeth MacNeal. We all read this book on the kindle and split the book into two parts. Part 1 was to read up to 71% which was the end of ‘part 3’ as the book was broken down and part 2 was to read the remainder of the story.

Section 1 – 17th April

We actually delayed this discussion by a week due to group commitments meaning the 71% hadn’t been read by all. This was also partly due to the first section being a little larger than we had anticipated.

On the whole we are all enjoying this story. We are intrigued by the different strands of the story and in particular the relationship between the brothers; Jasper and Toby.

A few of us noted that we enjoyed the inclusion of the war and historical references and that it was an effective example of where the author has managed to weave fact and fiction seamlessly.

We all agreed that the descriptions were very vivid, we all loved how the Circus element was being depicted and that the story and setting would make an excellent film.

We are liking the language that is is being used and the pace. The flashbacks and differing points of view are also very interesting and engaging.

I personally, along with a few other members of the group typically prefer shorter, choppier chapters than are included within this book, just out of personal preference.

All of us agreed that Toby is a very complex character which we all felt drawn to. We were pleased for him sticking up for himself. We had a suggestion that maybe Jasper killed dash and has somehow convinced Toby that he is to blame.

We are intrigued by what the last 30% contains, there are some many diverging storylines which could go in many ways…

Our words for this weeks part can be summed up below but in summary we are all currently enjoying this story so far… We have two 3.5 star ratings (one of which is me), four 4 star ratings and three 5 star ratings.

Section 2 – 24th April

Overall we loved this book. We had mostly 5 star ratings with one 3.5 (me) and one 4.5.

The bits we loved most were the turbulent relationship between the brothers Toby and Jasper and Nell’s overall story. We actually felt pity for Jasper despite him clearly being portrayed as the villain.

It definitely didn’t end the way we expected but we are happy with how it did (not a spoiler for once!) – we loved how everyone seemed to find their place and the overall magic of the circus.

Our overall words for this book are below.

This leaves the group rating as a 4.5 – our highest group score so far and following the pattern (book one was a two star, book two was a three).

Our overall group rating: 4.5/5

My individual rating: 3/5

As always, this is our view on this story. Variety is the spice of life and as we all know, us readers don’t enjoy the same thing. You may love this book, you may hate this book – the only way to find out is to give it a go!

Our May book is ‘Lace’ by Shirly Conran! So keep your eyes peeled for our thoughts on that one…


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