Lena is a young girl who survived polio as a baby. Because of this, her life is limited. She travels with her father as he performs with a traveling circus. She has safety, security and love but longs for more. She wants to be a normal kid. As WWII begins to break out in Europe, the train’s movements are limited and her father seizes an opportunity when a Jewish orphan is thrust in their path. Lena is transformed until the war breaks them apart. She must go on with her life without her father and her best friend. She is left to decide how to forge a path forward.
I liked this story. There is nothing more energizing than a plucky young heroine. In this case her “limitations” formed the springboard for the direction which her life took. I know WWII fiction has been done to death but it’s role here is not the star of the story. We get huge swaths of life before and after. I felt the ending was a bit predictable but I enjoyed the journey.
Check this one out if you liked The Whalebone Theatre.
Thanks to GP Putnam and Sons for gifted access via Netgalley. All opinions above are my own.
What’s your favorite act in the circus?