I ordered this copy to collect at a book signing which sadly the author could not attend however she did send the books signed to the organisers I mention this only as I am not sure if the Amazon cover will be the same as the one I have which has Cirque written in lovely gold foil.
Let us begin as always with the GoodReads blurb…
A boy looked in a window, to see a naughty show
Through the pane of pain, the master clown did blow
The circus is a holy tent, the keeper of my rhyme
Where I forged my chains, creating this pantomime
Pretending to be normal, I wait until after dark
Then I paint the frown on, get a whore from the park
At the bottom of that bed was a darling in a chest
She watched with big eyes, horror hooking her from rest
She dances for the maniac, twirling on her strings
I will make her mine, sharing damaged things
I will be her riddle, she will help me grin
So why does she run away, she has to let me in
No one loves the clown, not even the midget
We’ve gone too far, she will know my secret
Love can break the hardest mask, I know this to be true
Nightmares have hearts too, I only needed you
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, generally anything involving clowns tends to make me think of ‘It’ but this is very different.
The exploration of not only the dark recesses of the mind but also their origins set this up to be an intriguing tale. On the one hand this is a twisted love story but it is also an examination of social norms, kinks that are hidden and those deemed acceptable. The double standards of masculinity and sexuality that allows the guys to visit the strip club but makes a sister working there unacceptable. This book challenge taboo areas, sibling rivialry and family relationships as well as the sexual desires the main character has and the way he attempts to integrate them into his nrmal life while keeping them seperate.
The book is very well written and flows well but also makes you stop and think without losing momentum in the plot. I am looking forward to reading the sequel to find out what other secrets lie hidden beneath the skin.
I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars.