How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Faber and Faber
Previously read by the same author:
Frost Hollow Hall
Louie, who was abandoned at Chipchase’s Travelling Circus as a baby, dreams of becoming a ‘Showstopper’, but Mr Chipchase keeps her hidden, tucked away in the ticket booth. No Death-Defying Stunts for her. But Louie has been secretly practising her act; the tightrope and dreams of being the Girl Who Walked on Air – she just needs to be given the chance to shine.
And the circus needs her too – Wellbeloved’s rival show is stealing their crowds. They need a Showstopper. Desperate, Mr Chipchase reluctantly lets Louie perform. She is a sensation, and gets an offer from the sinister Mr Wellbeloved himself to perform . . . over Niagara Falls. But nothing is quite as it seems and soon Louie’s bravery is tested not just on the highwire but in confronting her past and the shady characters in the world of the circus . . .
I was thoroughly looking forward to reading The Girl Who Walked On Air after being really impressed with Emma Carroll’s debut novel Frost Hollow Hall last year. I’m happy to say that this book totally exceeded my already high expectations. Emma Carroll’s writing is absolutely beautiful. I felt like I was in the book, watching the scenes unfold before my eyes. It was fantastic!
The Girl Who Walked On Air centres around Louie, a young girl who has grown up with Mr Chipchase’s circus after being abandoned by her mother and taken in by the circus. Louie’s role in the circus is to be a ticket-seller and costume mender. She dreams of being a show-stopper and in her spare time she’s been practising walking the tightrope. Louie really wants to impress Mr Chipchase so she can fulfil her dreams. After a terrible accident Louie wants to step up to the mark, but Mr Chipchase is having none of it. Louie meets some people who begin to change her life in a way that she didn’t expect…
Louie is an absolutely fantastic main character. I immediately warmed to her and was rooting for her to get what she wanted. Louie is determined to get what she wants and really fights to succeed. There are such strong secondary characters in this story as well. They’re all so well developed. There are even characters I delighted in disliking. It was Louie that stood out for me and her interactions with Gabriel, a performer from another circus.
Emma Carroll has written about a Victorian circus so well. It’s incredibly detailed, and as I mentioned before, so well detailed that I felt like I was IN the story, watching it all unfold. We’ve all heard about how every act needed to be so dangerous in order to be entertaining. Louie was so sure she wanted to take those risks for other people’s entertainment even though she had experienced watching a terrible accident. It didn’t matter to Louie, she knew the business was tricky. The element of danger really made the book exciting!
This book had me gripped from the start. I couldn’t put it down. I was absolutely engrossed by the world and the characters. It’s exciting, well-written and definitely one of my favourite books this year.
Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!