This was a heartbreaking story about secrets, lies, and betrayal in France and Germany during World War II. This book surprised me how easy it is to read the word choice was not challenging and the descriptions for the most part basic but it kind of works in this story sense. The author doesn’t draw on what we see and hear, but delves into what the characters are feeling.
The Plot: Is Noa a dutch girl living in Germany is homeless as she was cast out of her home for getting impregnated by an SS officer, has been swindled by a group and her baby was taken and sold. Noa is heartbroken, but when she find a boxcar filled with dead and dying Jewish babies, she takes one and runs. Now a fugitive she tells everyone that the baby is her brother Theo, upon running away she falls ill in the woods and is taken in by a german circus troop. she wakes up being taken in with her secret that the baby is her brother, the ringmaster and owner, has a huge heart and does not want to put her out offers her sanctuary if she will become an aerialist. Astrid a jewish woman that the ringmaster has taken in to hide in plain sight see that the girl is not telling everything and could spell trouble, and doesn’t have what it takes to become an aerialist. An unlikely friendship forms that will change their lives when secrets and betrayal are revealed.
What I Liked: I found after reading the way the author mashed up stories of a traveling circus that hid jewish people along with a story of a jewish child being taken off of a boxcar and raised. I liked that it also shows what it was like in German occupied France, Germany, and Poland for Non-Jewish Europeans, how they are always having raids checking papers, questioning if they’re loyalty to the Nazi Party. I liked that the story doesn’t hold back the brutality, it’s not brutal in details or gore, but in actions, this is a time of war, and you feel the desperation and the pointless deaths. I liked how easy it was to read, this is the most covered history there is no need to go into graphic detail describing things, and the author doesn’t. The Astrid and Noa dual perspectives work in this piece I was confused twice about who was speaking but it was cleared up fast and easy to remember who was narrating
What I Did Not Like: I wanted more history of the circus and the workings of it overall, we get a taste but I wanted more. The novel is dramatic but it could have been ramped up in parts to be more impactful, a lot of the more dramatic acts were foreshadowed, a bit too much, so they took the punch out of it.
Overall I liked this book and will look forward to reading more from her. I would rate this book a solid 4 stars. This book reads like a Historical Fiction filled with heartache and drama written in the easy reading style of James Patterson word choice.