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Circus of Wonders
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
23 posts | 19 read | 18 to read
For fans of Erin Morgensterns The Night Circus, Sara Gruens Water for Elephants, and Diane Setterfields Once Upon a River, an atmospheric and spectacular novel in which one womans life is transformed by the arrival of a Victorian circus of wonders. Step up, step up! In 1860s England, circus mania is sweeping the nation. Crowds jostle for a glimpse of the lion-tamers, the dazzling trapeze artists and, most thrilling of all, the so-called human wonders. When Jasper Jupiters Circus of Wonders pitches its tent in a poor coastal town, the life of one young girl changes forever. Sold to the ringmaster as a leopard girl because of the birthmarks that cover her body, Nell is utterly devastated. But as she grows close to the other performers, she finds herself enchanted by the glittering freedom of the circus, and by her own role as the Queen of the Moon and Stars. Before long, Nells fame spreads across the worldand with it, a chance for Jasper Jupiter to grow his own name and fortune. But what happens when her fame begins to eclipse his own, when even Jaspers loyal brother Toby becomes captivated by Nell? No longer the quiet flower-picker, Nell knows her own place in the world, and she will fight for it. A gorgeously wrought exploration of celebrity, power, and belonging, this is a historical novel unlike any other, with an unforgettable heroine at its heart.
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review
MaggieCarr
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
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Panpan

Multiple POV and while I was instantly gripped by Nell for being sold to the circus by her father for twenty pounds due to her notable birthmarks, I didn't feel like I connected to any of the other characters in a meaningful way. I honestly was mad, really mad, or downright furious with each of them except Pearl and she was only four years old and in the last third of the book...

MaggieCarr ...Kinda sorta a love story in a Shel Silverstein's "Giving Tree" sort of way × Gustafson of Jingle Jangle. Wow, I don't think I've ever compared that reference to another book before... it's fitting though. I haven't read all the library books on circus/side shows/carnivals yet but so far this was my least favorite. 1mo
26 likes1 comment
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Linsy
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
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"Pinned down like moths, like squids on rocks. This is a fight women have always fought, their soft bodies turned to battlegrounds, slim bones crushed beneath the solid weight of men. " ??

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Roary47
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
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Mehso-so

3✨It went pretty much as expected. I enjoyed it as a #OnceUponABookclub read and circus stories are entertaining for me. I feel like I compared it too much to Water for Elephants which I loved! That is not fair for this book because our main characters are the underdogs of the circus. I understand why the ending happened, but I wasn‘t a fan.

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Roary47
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
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Listening to this audio read while cleaning house, but I just got turkeys yesterday and their chirps are getting me distracted. I mean look at that cute face! 😍

14 likes1 comment
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DaniJ
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
Mehso-so

It was okay. Entertaining. Beautiful picture of Victorian-era circus. Meh out of ten if you ask me.

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Bookish_Gal
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
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Mehso-so

For the most part I did enjoy the story. It was the dividing between three people who threw me. It is Nells story,from her perspective as well as the circus owner who bought her and his brother. Each trying to make their mark on the world. Drastically different ways. I wanted more of Nell. Otherwise while fun, it lacked luster for me; never was a circus fan, never understood it. This really showed the back drama. Well shown men war ptsd
#ouabc

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BarkingMadRun
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
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Starting this today, I feel the need to open some gifts! #ouabc

mabell That looks like fun! 4mo
43 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Bookish_Gal
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
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I am not a circus fan. I‘ve never understood the show offs and fame obsession. This story sounds fascinating to me though. Nell was born with birthmarks all across her body, causing her to be ostracized. Her father sells her to a circus as a Wonder of the Human World. Here she grows up, in a sort of enslaved freedom.
#Ouabc

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ladym30
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
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Book mail!😍

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Lauren.Archer
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
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Mehso-so

The descriptions are beautiful and the author wrote Nell a beautiful story. Everything else that surrounds it, is slightly under par. Give me Nell‘s story alone and this would have been a 5 star read, instead Jasper‘s story takes over and while he was interesting, it just does not shine like Nell‘s.

57 likes1 stack add
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SilversReviews
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
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“Step up, step up! In 1860s England, circus mania is sweeping the nation.”

Will you be adding it to your TBR?

FULL POST: https://tinyurl.com/4jjkhf44

@elizabethmacneal
#elizabethmacneal
@simonbooks

MamaGina Just put it on my library holds. Loved The Doll Factory! 5mo
SilversReviews @MamaGina Hope it is good!! 5mo
31 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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ErraticElle
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
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Pickpick

A fascinating historical novel following a Victorian era circus centered on “human wonders“. Colorful, magnificent, intriguing, & gut-wrenching. The writing is flowing & beautiful. Macneal's characters are wholly human & the multifaceted character interactions makes the full range of emotional experiences feel tangible, launching the plot with a full impact. Though a bit of a slow starter, this wrapped itself around my soul for an emotional read.

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Addison_Reads
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
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Pickpick

#NetGalley #ARC

I love books set in the circus. 💚 This one is set in 1860's London and it's lush descriptions will make you feel like you're under the big tent in the Victorian era.

Nell never fit in and when her father sees an opportunity to rid himself of her he sells her to the circus. What follows is a journey of adventure, growing up, and learning to accept people as they are.

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EadieB
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
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Mehso-so

1866. In a coastal village in southern England, Nell has birthmarks that speckle her skin. Nell's father sells her to Jasper Jupiter's Circus of Wonders as his very own leopard girl. Nell feels betrayed but she is described as The Eighth Wonder of the World and her fame grows. She decides that this is the best thing that has happened to her. She falls in love with Jasper's brother, Toby, and he eventually has to decide between Nell and Jasper.

EadieB Circus of Wonders is an astonishing story about power and ownership, fame and the threat of invisibility. I found this book to be interesting but it lacked the magic of The Night Circus, one of my favorite books about the circus. The characters were unique but not very likable. I thought it was a bit dark and the story dragged in the middle. I was glad that I did hang in there because the ending did redeem the story. 5mo
EadieB I would like to check out the author's book, The Doll Factory, as I do think Elizabeth MacNeal is a talented writer. I would like to thank NetGalley and Atria Books for a copy of an ebook for my honest opinion. 5mo
See All 8 Comments
Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 5mo
EadieB @Andrew65 Thanks! 5mo
LaurelChandler Thanks for the tag! I want to read this book also because I love The Night Circus. Now I know what I would be getting into. 5mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 5mo
EadieB @LaurelChandler You‘re welcome! You should read it as you may enjoy it! (edited) 5mo
60 likes8 comments
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abookishbutterfly
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
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Pickpick

I enjoyed the way the story examined the dynamics of fame but, even more so, I loved the way Macneal exemplified envy. She aptly demonstrated the way it rears its ugly head in unexpected and disistatorous ways. The entire atmosphere of Circus of Wonders was both glorious and frightening. I was completely enraptured by every word.

My full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3803367988

DGRachel I love your gnome! 6mo
abookishbutterfly @DGRachel Thank you! I found him at Walmart! 6mo
56 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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abookishbutterfly
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal

“All her life, she has held herself like a bud, so small and tight and voiceless. She has not realized the potential that lies within her, the possibility that she might unfurl, arms thrown wide, and take up space in the world.”

kplovesbooks ♥️♥️♥️♥️ LOVE THIS!! 6mo
Suet624 💕💕💕 6mo
28 likes2 comments
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abookishbutterfly
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal

“The light is probably too dim, but it feels important to mark this, to bear witness to the truth of life and its ending, its ugliness and trauma.”

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BookingitwithSandra
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
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Starting a new ARC tonight —Circus of Wonders by Elizabeth Macneal, coming February 1st ‘22! I loved The Doll Factory! I hope this book is as weird and wonderful as The Doll Factory!

#macabre #fantasy #ARC #bookreads #netgalley #elizabethmacneal #atriabooks

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful!! 🎄❤️ 7mo
Addison_Reads I have this ARC as well and can't wait to start it. 7mo
BookingitwithSandra @Addison_Reads it‘s taken me a while to get past the first chapter. Not because of the story itself but my reading time allowance being null. 🤦🏼‍♀️ 7mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks You‘re welcome!! 😘 7mo
50 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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OneMoreChapterISwear
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
Panpan

#NetGalley
There are only a few literary no-no(s)that I can not abide by & this book has a major one. AT LEAST ONE MAIN CHARACTER MUST BE INTERESTING!! It had loads of potential but it fell flat. Most of the cast were either dull, despicable or annoying. Nothing better than a lush, creepy, freaky, circus yarn (especially around Halloween time)but sadly, if you're in the market for one of those kinds of reads you're going to be disappointed here.

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Curvybookgirl
Circus of Wonders | Elizabeth Macneal
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Mehso-so

I had pretty high hopes for this one but sadly for me it fell a bit short. Lovely writing but the story left me feeling flat.