cover image The Ladies of the Secret Circus

The Ladies of the Secret Circus

Constance Sayers. Redhook, $28 (448p) ISBN 978-0-316-49367-3

Sayers (A Witch in Time) weaves romance, mystery, and a family curse into a spellbinding historical fantasy that stretches from 1920s Paris to modern-day America. In Jazz Age Paris, the Secret Circus is a place of both beauty and horror, unique because it has no physical building and only becomes visible to ticket holders. Twins Cecile and Esmé Cabot are confined to the mysterious world of the circus, where Cecile has always lived in Esmé’s shadow. But when Cecile falls for a charming young artist, the affair worsens Cecile and Esmé’s already strained relationship and the consequences of their rift stretch through time. In present-day Virginia, Lara Barnes is floored when her fiancé disappears on their wedding day, and, after coming across her great-grandmother’s journals, she sets off for Paris in search of answers. There, Lara uncovers both her family’s secret past and a curse that has plagued the women in her family for generations. The rich descriptions and fascinating settings create engagement in both timelines, and the secret of Lara’s bloodline is original and surprising. Fans of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus will love this page-turning story of dark magic, star-crossed love, and familial sacrifice. Agent: Roz Foster, Frances Godlin Literary. (Mar.)