Book Review: Henrietta Horbuckle’s Circus of Life

Henrietta Hornbuckle's Circus of LifeHenrietta Hornbuckle’s Circus of Life by Michael de Guzman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All her life, Henrietta has been on the move. Born into a traveling clown circus, she lives with her parents in an RV, part of a caravan that journeys from city to city, putting on shows. She loves performing as part of the act, and she is mystified by the idea of ever leaving the circus and settling down somewhere. But Filbert’s Traveling Clown Circus has had some tough times, and some serious changes are coming Henrietta’s way.

With a smooth flowing narrative voice and short chapters, the book pulls the reader quickly into Henrietta’s world. It is packed with details about the clowns’ vagabond lifestyle, from how the Hornbuckles’ RV is arranged to how dinner is prepared to how Henrietta and her father work out a new routine. For curious readers, it is a fascinating glimpse into an entirely different lifestyle. Fans of realistic fiction will appreciate the way Henrietta faces both the everyday challenges of life on the cusp of becoming a teenager and the much bigger issues that are altering life as she has known it.

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