The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright

In 1928, Pippa Ripley is trying to figure out where she fits—rejected as a baby from the circus due to her deformed leg but not quite fitting into the suffocating glamour of her adoptive parents’ lifestyle.  She is intrigued by secretive messages delivered to her from the “Watchman,” a shadowy figure that she thinks may know more about her birth.  However, when circus worker Jake warns Pippa that this Watchman may responsible for the deaths of young females—including his own sister—Pippa begins to wonder if the Watchman is looking out for her or marking her as his next victim.  Meanwhile, in modern times, Chandler Faulk has recently purchased the old circus depot with plans to renovate it into a center for boutique shops, highlighting the glory days of the circus.  But when mysterious events being occurring, and the local townspeople question whether it is the work of ghosts of the murdered victims of the Watchman, Chandler starts to question whether she can handle the stress of digging into haunting secrets better left unexplored.

Wow!  This book drew me in from the very first page, the whispers of ghosts and secrets rising from the pages and pulling me into the story with ease.  Jaime Jo Wright is a master at split-time novels, and I love reading how the two storylines start as complex separate stories that eventually merge into a beautiful connection with similar themes.  I particularly loved the characters in this novel, as both Pippa and Chandler are seeking where they belong and their purpose in their worlds. I was humbled by Jaime Jo Wright’s inclusion of an autoimmune disorder in one of her characters, knowing that she herself struggles with the same disease, demonstrating that she is willing to be vulnerable as an author in order to connect with her readers.  The strange occurrences in the story have you questioning whether some of the events are really due to ghosts!  I stayed up until after 2am to finish this book because the tale drew me in and would not let me put the book down until I discovered what happened to the characters!  Just when I thought I had figured out the villains, there was another twist in the story that kept me guessing!  This story made me cry as I grew to love the characters, gasp as I was surprised by twists and turns, and snuggle deeper under my blanket as I fervently looked over my shoulder for Patty’s ghost.  I was intrigued by the history of the circus and appreciated the author’s details of circus life.  The spiritual themes of trusting God and allowing Him to be your ultimate identity were artfully woven in the story among the roar of the lions, the swishing of the elephant’s tail, and the whispers of the Watchman.  I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

2 Replies to “The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright”

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