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Circus of Wonders Reviews

Circus of Wonders by Elizabeth Macneal

Circus of Wonders

Elizabeth Macneal

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Picador
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication date: 13 May 2021
ISBN: 9781529002539

The spellbinding novel from Elizabeth Macneal, author of the Sunday Times bestselling The Doll Factory.

4 stars out of 5
Antonia Senior
6 May 2021

"beautifully written and filled with character and life"

Elizabeth Macneal’s marvellous debut, The Doll Factory, was a bestselling success. This second book, beautifully written and filled with character and life, cements her reputation as a new talent.


4 stars out of 5
Suzi Feay
28 Apr 2021

"An egotistical ringmaster gives his “monsters” a chance to shine in this glittering follow-up to The Doll Factory"

The circus setting is admittedly a little more hackneyed than the taxidermy and pre-Raphaelite painting in her debut, but underneath the spangles and showmanship, there’s always a lingering stink of horse shit and anxiety. For a novel about a vanished, seemingly alien world, it is also pleasingly contemporary. In the Crimea Toby was chiefly engaged in the dissemination of fake news or spin, presenting a sanitised version of the battlefield. Jasper’s ever more expansive dreams point to mechanisation and the eventual replacement of disobedient human employees altogether. That Jasper is not a villain, Nell no heroine, and Toby entirely unsuited to the role of Romeo, is a mark of Macneal’s subtlety and originality.