Tuesday 18 January 2022

Book Review ~ The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers


11 November 2021

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book

The surest way to get a ticket to Le Cirque Secret is to wish for it...

Paris, 1925: To enter the Secret Circus is to enter a world of wonder – a world where women weave illusions, carousels take you back in time, and trapeze artists float across the sky. Bound to her family’s circus, it’s the only world Cecile Cabot knows until she meets a charismatic young painter and embarks on a passionate affair that could cost her everything.

Virginia, 2004: Lara Barnes is on top of the world, but when her fiancΓ© disappears on their wedding day every plan she has for the future comes crashing down. Desperate, Lara’s search for answers unexpectedly leads to her great-grandmother’s journals.

Swept into a story of a dark circus and ill-fated love, secrets about Lara’s family history come to light and reveal a curse that has been claiming payment from the women in her family for generations. A curse that might be tied to her fiance's mysterious fate.

My Thoughts...

Family secrets, with a hint of fantasy, takes us on a journey into the hidden world of the ladies of the secret circus which begins with the intriguing mystery of a groom disappearing on his wedding day, that the same thing happens every thirty or so years is what makes the premise of the book so intriguing.

The Ladies of the Secret Circus is a story of guarded secrets which span decades taking us into the alternating world of 1920s Paris and back to America in the 2000s and with two very different narrators who gradually reveal a shadowy and secret world which you enter only if you dare. Once I became involved with the story, and I must admit that it took a while, I started to enjoy watching how the story unfolded. The magical realism part of the tale is handled imaginatively, with good attention to detail, although my guess is that the story could have been more succinct in places. 

Part historical fiction, part magical realism/fantasy, The Ladies of the Secret Circus is an interesting family drama which shows how hidden secrets from so long ago can have a devastating effect on future generations. 

Best read with...a glass of champagne and a red delicious apple.

Constance Sayers received her MA in English from George Mason University and her BA in writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a media executive at Atlantic Media. She has been twice named to Folio’s list of “Top 100 Media People in America” and was included in their list of “Top Women in Media.” She is the co-founder of the Thoughtful Dog literary magazine and lives in Kensington, Maryland.

Twitter @constancesayers #TheLadiesoftheSecretCircus

@LittleBrownUK @PiatkusBooks

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