Paris in the 1940s. A rather frightening place to be especially for those who were "slightly different" even a wee bit. Hitler was on the rise, approaching Paris and anyone who wanted to flee had to do it now.
Michel takes refuge as a stowaway on a train housing a circus of all things and when discovered, with his aptitude for being a horse whisperer he is taken on to train a particularly skittish beauty and then tolerated by Werner the owner of the circus, despite his always taking a crack at Michel for no apparent reason.
Going further on the journey, we see that many of the performers hide secrets that they are terrified to reveal - past Resistance, Jews, Roma all enemies of Hitler. They are all fearful for their lives and this story takes on the vista of people on the run fleeing from one small village to another gradually losing their performers who either leave or are taken away by the German Army till finally Michel and Frieda the ringmaster's daughter both flee for America.
A story of a family because the circus becomes their family in the absence of any, and how people survive. A story of loss and sadness but also hope always for something better tomorrow.
Sent by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Bookouture.