Friday, December 16, 2022

The Circus Train by Amita Parikh ~ My Thoughts #TheCircusTrain

The Circus Train by Amita Parikh
Historical Fiction, 352 pages
Published December 6, by HarperCollins Publishers

At the World of Wonders, Europe's most magnificent travelling circus, every moment is full of magic, and nothing is as it seems--especially for the people who put on the show

Lena Papadopoulos has never quite found her place within the circus, even as the daughter of the extraordinary headlining illusionist, Theo. Brilliant and curious, Lena yearns for the real-world magic of science and medicine, despite her father's overprotection and the limits her world places on her because she is disabled. Her unconventional life takes an exciting turn when she rescues Alexandre, an orphan with his own secrets and a mysterious past. Over several years, as their friendship flourishes and Alexandre trains as the illusionist's apprentice, World War II escalates around them. 

When Theo and Alexandre are contracted to work and perform in a model town for Jews set up by the Nazis, Lena becomes separated from everything she knows. Forced to make her own way, Lena must confront her doubts and dare to believe in the impossible--herself.

A must-read for fans of The Night Circus and Water for Elephants, The Circus Train will take readers on a heart-wrenching and spectacular two-decade journey across Europe. When all is lost, how do you find the courage to keep moving forward?

My thoughts about The Circus Train ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First lines—"'Twenty-four, maybe forty-eight hours.' Dr. Komninos delivered his diagnosis as though he was reciting a weather report or the answer to a math problem."

This story had me from the prologue. So much sadness and heartbreak in those first few pages. But then the reader also finds out that there are some secrets that are not revealed as well. So intriguing. 

And then the reader gets to become a part of the exciting world of the circus. But to the people who work in the circus, that is their normal, everyday life, with joy and plenty of struggles. The life of Lena is a hard one but she is a survivor and becomes close friends with a young boy who truly believes in her. 

This is a wonderful historical fiction story that gives the reader a different look at life during World War II and the control that the Nazis had over so many people. It's a story of the struggles and strength of a group of people who had to do whatever they needed to do to survive. There are plenty of surprises along the way that made their story that much more interesting.

This book is touted as must-read for fans of The Night Circus and Water for Elephants. I loved both of those stories and I feel like The Circus Train one is right up there with those two books. Check it out! 

I received The Circus Train via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion of the book.

About the author

Amita Parikh is an author, web developer and marketer. She earned an Hons. B.Sc from the University of Toronto, then spent the next decade working in the tech start-up industry in Europe and Canada. 

In 2014, she began writing what she hoped would become a book. The resulting novel, The Circus Train, is out in 2022 and 2023. ~ Author's website

Connect with Amita


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