City of Circles
By Jess Richards
A magical love story between two circus performers, for fans of Angela Carter and Erin Morgenstern by Costa-shortlisted author Jess Richards.
CITY OF CIRCLES is an entrancing love story between Danu and Morrie, two circus performers, and Danu's Lewis Carroll-esque odyssey through the magical city of Matryoshka, that ends with a heart-warming yet bittersweet twist.
Danu is a tightrope walker who is mourning her parents, after a disease has ravaged the circus where she grew up. Her mother has entrusted her with a locket that hides a secret.
Over the years, Danu pushes away her grief and develops elaborate and successful high-wire acts with Morrie, a charismatic hunchback who wants to marry her. When the circus returns to Danu's birthplace, Matryoshka, Danu is enchanted by the temples, spice mists, and pleasure seekers within the intoxicating outer circle district.
Here, she finally gains the courage to open her mother's locket, and discovers the name of a stranger who lives behind the locked gate of the Inner Circle. Fated to remain in Matryoshka, Danu attempts to resolve this mystery . . .
Will she and Morrie ever be reunited, or will something far more unexpected be waiting for her in the mysterious heart of the city?
Jess Richards was born in Wales in 1972 and studied Creative Writing at Sussex University in 2010. Her debut novel, SNAKE ROPES, was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa First Novel Award and longlisted for the Green Carnation Prize. Her second novel, the acclaimed COOKING WITH BONES was published in 2014. CITY OF CIRCLES is her third novel.
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- Publication date:
10 Aug 2017
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Utterly transporting. — The Pool
What a rich sensory experience Jess creates for us. What a full and fascinating world. Her exploration of self and grief will resonate with many who have struggled to find the quiet sense of themselves in a busy, confusing world. — Ros Barber, author of Desmond Elliot Prize-winning The Marlowe Papers
Fans of Angela Carter and Erin Morgenstern will love this latest book from the Costa-shortlisted author. Enthralling love story about two circus performers, City of Circles is mesmerizing and vividly imagined. — Storgy, Summer Reads
Her writing reminds me of Anna Smaill's The Chimes. It is lyrical and sensual, at times dense with wordplay and mythologising. — Landfall Review
Mind-blowing to read. — Sophie Elaina blog
I quickly found myself immersed in the enchanting world of magic, runes, tarot cards and hexes, as well as the powerfully evoked atmosphere of the circus - I could almost smell the sawdust! I loved the poetic, mystical and ethereal nature of the author's prose and frequently found myself reflecting on the ideas and observations she introduced into the story... such an original, wonderfully fantastic story, containing so many layers of meaning which would offer fertile ground for lively discussion. Anyone who enjoys magical realism will be in for a treat with this thought-provoking story. — nudge
The author's exploration of grief and of a young woman's search for herself was one of the most emotionally affecting pieces of writing I have ever read. She captured so vividly and sensitively how it is possible to feel numb and alone, even when surrounded by people who love and care for you... I loved the poetic, mystical and ethereal nature of the author's prose and frequently found myself reflecting on the ideas and observations she introduced into the story. — BookGeek