I began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of my old favorites as well as sharing books that I’m FINALLY getting around to reading that were published months or years ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on my TBR list while I continue to pile more titles on top of them:)! I like that these older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere.

My PICK this week is…



Published May 2007 By Algonquin Books

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

An atmospheric, gritty, and compelling novel of star-crossed lovers, set in the circus world circa 1932 

When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, drifters, and misfits, a second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her.


This was a book I resisted reading for so long due to the circus setting and I could’ve kicked myself because I LOVED it! I’m all about star crossed lovers so really this was a perfect book for me and the circus setting and time period just helped to enhance the story. The suspense was often palpable and I would definitely put this book in the unputdownable, page turning category. There’s a little bit of everything in this story…drama, thrills, suspense, heartbreak, mystery…plus excellent characterization which puts this into the must read category for me. If this all sounds good to you, I highly recommend giving this one a try



Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Cathy at What Cathy Read Next

Lynne at Fictionophile

Annie at The Misstery

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

Laurie at Cozy Nook Books

Diana at A Haven for Book Lovers

Kaila at The Traveling Inkwell

Published by


  1. Great choice! I absolutely loved Like Water for Elephants, too and like you was initially put off by the circus idea. I made the same mistake with The Night Circus. It seems I DO like books about the circus!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interestingly, I have been seeing this title at the library but I have never thought of picking it. Thank you for sharing this post. I am now convinced to give it a try. It sounds wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Diana I think you’ll love this story! There’s so much suspense and tension and the characters are so well done. I almost didn’t feature this because I thought maybe everyone has already read it so I’m thrilled I’ve inspired you to pick it up:)


  3. Excellent choice! I loved this one, too. I also enjoyed the movie adaptation. This isn’t a book I’d normally read – animal cruelty and circus’ in general make me so mad, but it was worth reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve had this book for ages but have never read it. I saw the movie and really liked it. The next time I glance this title on my book shelf it’s going to entice me more to move it to my tbr pile thanks to your review Renée.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s