Hello Everyone,

Just a quick little review about a book I read yesterday, The Shadow Dancers of Brixton Hill by Nicole Wilson.

In 1937, American circuses are trying to recoup the losses they incurred during the Great Depression while competing with newer forms of entertainment like movie theaters. Kate Montgomery travels to the small town of Brixton Hill to scout a new act for her father’s struggling circus. Lewis Oswald, a trainer and friend of Kate’s family, introduces her to the Shadow Dancers, three young girls who can make their shadows dance independently of their bodies. While the act would revive her family’s circus, Kate is horrified by the young women’s dismal training and living conditions. She wants to help them escape their dreadful situation, but when the Shadow Dancers take matters into their own hands, she’ll have to save herself.

The year is 1937 and Kate Montgomery, in a bid to impress her father, owner of Montgomery's Marvel's, a family owned circus in Baltimore, is sent to Brixton Hill in Virginia to assess whether a new act would be suitable for their circus.

She soon finds herself at Lewis Oswald's circus training camp with the promise of observing the most original act in years, The Shadow Dancers, Camilla, Abigail & Rose.

I enjoyed Nicole Wilson's first novella. Set in the world of circus performers, it put me in mind of Todd Browning's 1930's classic Freaks, which is a film I still find inherently horrifying.

Nicole Wilson skilfully weaves a tale of mounting tension until the story reaches its climactic ending. There's quite a focussed set of characters, with Lewis Oswald being quite slimy and controlling of the girls.

In her eagerness to prove herself, Kate regularly ignores the warning signs that everything is not as it seems and attempts to mother the girls that she witnesses experiencing harsh treatment at the hands of Oswald.

This is a cracking little novella with an original premise, and that ending....

In addition to that there is an additional little story at the end of the novella called Angels with Broken wings. I enjoyed this bonus story that revolves around a deadly family picnic.


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