cover image A Girl Made of Air

A Girl Made of Air

Nydia Hetherington. Mobius, $26.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-5294-0887-4

Hetherington weaves a story of trauma and neglect into the mystical world of a traveling circus in her lovely debut. The narrator, who calls herself Mouse, was born to two circus performers who wanted little to do with her. Mouse’s upbringing was largely left to the rest of the circus community, who treated her “more like a pet than a beloved child.” Then one particularly bright star took a special interest in Mouse, the orange-haired Serendipity Wilson, who taught her to read and to walk a tightrope—leading Mouse down a path to become “the greatest funambulist who ever lived.” Now Serendipity’s own child has gone missing. In an attempt to piece together what happened to the lost child, Mouse recounts her traumatic and complicated past while also revealing the history of the circus and its performers. The story unfolds through a series of interviews, letters, and diary entries, all maintaining a light, lyrical tone reminiscent of Erin Moregenstern’s The Night Circus. Hetherington pulls in readers with a riveting mystery and a candid narrator who never shies from the darkness in her tale. The result is a dreamlike delight. Agent: Samar Hammam, Rocking Chair Books Literary. (June)