I wasn’t planning on reading this story, but my co-worker insisted. Since we had so much fun reading and discussing The Help, I decided to borrow the audio book from the library. Craig enjoyed the story more than I did and gave it four stars, while I gave it just three. We both enjoyed the alternating perspectives, from that of Jacob when he’s in his early 20’s and working for the Benzini Brothers circus to the old Jacob, when he’s 90 (or 93) and living in a nursing home. We loved the large cast of fully developed and memorable characters, and the well-researched and realistic details of circus life. What I didn’t enjoy so much was how the story went from a fascinating look at life and hardship during the Great Depression, to circus life – its magic, sparkly costumes, and performing animals, and the harsh living and working conditions – to a tepid, plodding romance between Jacob and the kind, beautiful and lifeless Marlena.The tacked-on, sappy ending was disappointing too.Overall, it was an entertaining story, just not one that will stay with me.