14,765 book reviews and counting...

Books in the Media Update

This website is no longer being updated; theBookseller.com is the home of all books related-content and will continue to be updated with regular articles about books featured in the media. Thank you for using this website, and we hope you join us on theBookseller.com.

Circus of Wonders Reviews

Circus of Wonders by Elizabeth Macneal

Circus of Wonders

Elizabeth Macneal

4.00 out of 5

3 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
Nick Rennison
23 May 2021

" highlights Macneal’s rich imagination and vivid prose"

The Doll Factory, Elizabeth Macneal’s debut, was one of the most impressive historical novels of 2019. Her second novel is an equally satisfying exploration of some of the odder corners of Victorian life. Its heroine, the country girl Nell, is speckled with birthmarks on her skin that make her a curiosity...

 a novel that again highlights Macneal’s rich imagination and vivid prose.



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.