The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A hauntingly beautiful, yet devastating, story. In The Life She Was Given, Ellen Marie Wiseman transports the reader back in time to circus life in the 1930s. A young girl, Lilly, is ripped from the only life she has known, thrust into the harsh realities of performing in the circus sideshow. Through the years, she learns to overcome many obstacles and finds love in a young man and in performing with her cherished elephants. Fast forward two decades to the life of Julia, a young woman who has inherited her parents’ estate. She uncovers secrets her parents have stashed away, including articles about a circus performer. The mystery splendidly unfolds, revealing the correlations between the two girls’ lives. Wiseman’s writing pulls the reader wholly and deeply into the story and reflects between the two storylines seamlessly. This book will go down as one of my favorites of all time, and I would not be surprised it becomes a classic to future generations.
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