"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby

My first attempt at taking a picture of my Kindle screen.
Not my favorite :(

What it's about:
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step inside Mosco’s Traveling Wonder Show, a menagerie of human curiosities and misfits guaranteed to astound and amaze! But perhaps the strangest act of Mosco’s display is Portia Remini, a normal among the freaks, on the run from McGreavy’s Home for Wayward Girls, where Mister watches and waits. He said he would always find Portia, that she could never leave. Free at last, Portia begins a new life on the bally, seeking answers about her father’s disappearance. Will she find him before Mister finds her? It’s a story for the ages, and like everyone who enters the Wonder Show, Portia will never be the same. -Amazon.com

What I thought:
Who hasn't dreamed of running away with the circus?  There is something magical about being part of a traveling show, especially one with a carnival and "freak show."  Unfortunately, that is where the magic ended for me.

I feel that a lot of the story in this book was glossed over and ignored.  At one point, at the end of a chapter, Portia finds herself locked in a dark, scary trailer.  She realizes that no one can help her.  She must find her own way out.  Turn the page to begin the next chapter and she is no longer trapped.  How did she get out?  Did she scream and yell until someone found her?   Did she break a window?  Did she cause damage to the trailer that she would have to pay out of her wages?  We will never know.  There were many moments like this in the book, where I was left with more questions than answers.

Also, the ending wrapped up too neatly and too quickly for me.  Don't get me wrong, I love a happy ending as much as anyone, but this one happened too easily.  I don't want to give too much away, in case you plan to read the book, but it was much too neat and tidy for my liking.

I did really enjoy the short chapters written from the point of view of the different characters in the book.  It gave more depth to their personalities.  After reading the question and answer section in the back of the book, I learned that the author had not originally intended to include these chapters in the book.  They were merely a character exercise for her.  I am glad that her editor encouraged her to include them.  Without these chapters, the book would have had very little depth.

Overall this book was an enjoyable read.  The story and the characters were interesting.  I just put it down feeling a little unsatisfied, like something was missing.  

Have you read The Wonder Show?  What did you think?

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