I have to agree with this (excerpt from an) Amazon review:
“To me, however, Gruen never managed to transcend her source material. The primary problem was the narrator’s voice. Although the book was sprinkled with circus-specific vocabularly of that era, Gruen utterly fails to capture the rhythm or syntax of the time or milieu. Gruen’s language felt inappropriately contemporary, which undermined the overall credibility of the story.”
For “historical fiction” it certainly didn’t feel it. I found the writing style and plot lines to be immature, the relationships with the animals to be shallow and the character development to be one-dimensional. I don’t HATE it, but I certainly wouldn’t want to read it again.