This book is one of the very few books that I have ever read AFTER seeing the movie. Although, I saw the movie a couple of years ago and didn’t entirely remember the story line so it was difficult to compare. I enjoyed the movie but I loved the book.
Halfway through the book, I was googling to find out whether or not it was based on a true story. It was so vivid, so detailed and believable that I could not imagine someone just making it up. I discovered that Sara Gruen had done a lot of research on the circus in general but had not based the book on any actual events that took place. Wow. She created a world that was entirely believable. Sometimes horrifying, but definitely believable.
The main character was captivating, both as his younger self and when he was older. His experience in the nursing home was heartbreaking as I am sure there are many people out there at this exact moment that are in the exact same situation as him. When his family did not show up, I felt my heart break.
I loved so many of the characters and hated so many others, but all were expertly crafted. The settings made me feel like I was there; on the train,in the tents, in the speakeasy. I thought this book was magical… I most definitely recommend it.