People say it like a joke, but Henry Bell really did run away from home to join the circus. A talented new performer with a struggling circus, he’s found a place for himself among the fire-eaters, tightrope walkers, and contortionists. But no matter how far the show travels, Henry’s past is never far behind — the mother he lost, the violent father he fled, the brother he abandoned.
As Henry pushes himself to create bigger, better performances, his actions become a wrecking ball to the relationships around him. From his costar, to the former headlining giant of the circus, to the circus manager himself, no one is untouched.
Left unchecked, Henry’s blind ambition becomes the very thing that could save — or destroy — the circus itself. Unless Henry can reckon with the family and past he’s left behind, the spark which drives him to perform may burn out or ignite — engulfing everyone and everything he loves.
A story of the passion that drives creativity, this touching debut novel challenges our ideas of family and what it takes to rebuild them.