Joanne Zienty's Reviews > Henrietta Hornbuckle's Circus of Life

Henrietta Hornbuckle's Circus of Life by Michael de Guzman
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's review
Jan 21, 12

bookshelves: children-fiction

Into every life a little reality must fall, even the life of a traveling clown... or maybe especially the life of a traveling clown. Henrietta Hornbuckle is growing up in the apparently care-free atmosphere of a small caravan of clowns, who travel the country on a circuit that takes them from New York to the south to the West Coast and back again. She's a happy young performer whose never been in a house, never gone to school (she's taught by the adults in the troupe) and who can't imagine why anyone would want to be tied down to a place. But tragedy strikes and the curtain fails to reveal the ramshackle existence and the fact that the show cannot always go on. I found myself wanting to shake Henrietta and tell her to wake up and smell the coffee... but she grew on me and the conclusion was satisfying, sweet but not cloying.

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