My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I read this last book out of order, so it was a little abrupt at the beginning, but I quickly filled in the blanks. This story is one that Hetty has written about a young girl called Diamond and her life. Diamond is actually Ellen-Jane Potts, the 5th child in a family that had a Matthew, Mark, Luke and was looking for a "John." There was another daughter called Mary Martha, but Ellen-Jane was definitely a disappointment. Ellen-Jane was different from the rest of the family. She was blond and tiny like her mother and the rest were all dark and sturdy like their father. She was also "bendy." She could do back bends, crab walks, walk on her hands and other gymnastic feats as soon as she could toddle about. Unfortunately, life didn't go well for Ellen-Jane and eventually her father sold her to the Tanglewood circus where she lived a brutal life under her owner, "Beppo, the clown." Beppo once was an acrobat until he fell and broke his back. His sons still were acrobats and he was brutal with them and "Diamond."
Hetty and Diamond's lives come together at the Tanglewood circus where Hetty fulfills a dream of becoming a circus performer. In the first book, Adeline, the stunning horse rider, tells Hetty that the circus life is brutal, but she has to learn herself. This book again reveals the lives of poor children of the Victorian era when a child could be sold and mistreated. Hetty and Diamond find some kindness in the circus, but they, along with the other children of the troupe are exploited.
The only reason I gave this three stars is the abrupt ending. While this is part of a series, I think the author could have made the book resolve in a satisfying way and yet still leave room for the sequel.
View all my reviews