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Tammers said:
I loved this story and thought it was written very well. It was fun to read and I was emotionally hooked. There were parts where I almost cried and felt deeply for the characters and animals. I also really enjoyed how different my perspective of the story changed from the opening scene to the end. It’s definitely worth a read.
posted Mar 12, 2008 at 4:16PM
Sandra SSM said:
One of the best books I have read this year. Well researched. Setting is circus life in the 30s and nursing home present day.
posted Aug 19, 2010 at 1:21PM
Avatar for Minga Minga said:
It is super easy to get into the time period of this book, even though I have never been on a circus train, I could see it in my mind. The story moves at a pace that keeps you interested, I don't think I want to see the movie for fear it will ruin what I have already created for the characters.
posted Mar 15, 2011 at 10:31AM
Avatar for bennieangel bennieangel said:
It took me a while to get through chapter one (seriously..a year or more) but I finally got through it & LOVED the book. This one will stick with you!
posted Jun 23, 2011 at 12:21PM
hans223 said:
As a non-fiction person, I had my reservations about picking up this fiction, fiction no less written by a woman in a male voice. Flaws here and there but by and large an extraordinarily well researched novel, truly capturing the dark under belly of Depression era show biz while shooting out well -placed flares of love, respect, and humanity in more than one character. If you stick this out, enjoy author Gruen’s character progression in Jacob from handler to handled to... As a retired magician with some experience in deception, I strongly recommend this insider’s look at where you’re not suppossed to be looking. Hans
posted Sep 11, 2011 at 4:40PM
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main characters Jacob Jankowski
Age: 90
Hates living in a nursing home; parents were killed in an automobile accident; dropped out of veterinary school at the age of 21 to join the circus; took care of the circus animals which were treated badly before he arrived; in love with Marlena; trains Rosie.
Animal handler

Star of the equestrian act.
Circus performer

Marlena's husband; cruel; abuses both his wife and the animals.
Animal trainer


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