Upcoming events

Julia Donaldson Book-Signing for The Tooth Fairy & The Crocodile

22nd June, 2024, The Steyning Bookshop

Latest reviews

    February, 2024

  • Wilding: The New Illustrated Guide by Isabella Tree
    read more
  • August, 2022

  • The Night Ship by Jess Kidd
    read more
  • July, 2022

  • The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki
    read more
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
    read more
  • Notes from Deep Time by Helen Gordon
    read more
  • Circus of Wonders by Elizabeth Macneal
    read more
  • The Promise by Damon Galgut
    read more

Circus of Wonders


Elizabeth Macneal

The captivating second novel from Elizabeth Macneal, author of the best-selling The Doll Factory, set in the colourful circus world of London’s 19th Century pleasure gardens.

Country girl Nell picks violets for a living, in a quiet coastal village. Set apart from her community by the birthmarks that speckle her skin, she finds solace in 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 an agonizing betrayal, but as her fame grows, and she finds friendship with the other performers,she begins to wonder if joining the show is the best thing that has ever happened to her. But what happens when her fame threatens to eclipse that of the showman who bought her? And as she falls in love with Jasper’s gentle brother Toby, can he detach himself from the terrible secret that binds him to his tyrannical brother?

A really enjoyable novel, which vividly evokes 19th Century London, and captivating look into circus life. The novel is at once a tender love story, an exploration of difference & disability, and a rip-roaring good read! For fans of Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist & Stacy Halls’ The Familiars.