A dazzling, entrancing WW2 debut novel about a young girl whose life with a travelling circus is upended when the two people she loves most – her illusionist father and an orphan refugee – suddenly vanish.
Two lives collide in a world of secrets. But one secret greater than them all…is about to tear them apart.
At the World of Wonders, Europe’s most magnificent travelling circus, every moment is full of magic, and nothing is as it seems-especially for the people who put on the show. Lena Papadopoulos has never quite found her place within the circus, even as the daughter of the extraordinary headlining illusionist, Theo. Brilliant and curious, Lena yearns for the real-world magic of science and medicine, despite her father’s overprotection and the limitations of her wheelchair. Her unconventional life takes an exciting turn when she rescues Alexandre, an orphan with his own secrets and a mysterious past.
Over several years, as their friendship flourishes and Alexandre trains as the illusionist’s apprentice, World War II escalates around them. When Theo and Alexandre are contracted to work and perform in a model town for Jews set up by the Nazis, Lena becomes separated from everything she knows. Forced to make her own way, Lena must confront her doubts and dare to believe in the impossible-herself.
A must-read for fans of The Night Circus and Water for Elephants, The Circus Train will take readers on a heart-wrenching and spectacular two-decade journey across Europe. When all is lost, how do you find the courage move forward?