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The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus

av Wright

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4923415,169 (4.57)Ingen/inga
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Title: The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus
Author: Jaime Jo Wright
Pages: e-book
Year: 2020
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
This novel is one of split-time storylines. The first takes place in 1928, with the main character of Pippa Ripley. Pippa is a young woman who was abandoned by her parents on the doorstep of the owner of a circus. He reluctantly allows his wife to convince him to raise her as their own. As a young adult, Pippa longs to find her parents and discover why she was abandoned. She wants to know who she is and how she fits in. She wants to be loved and to love somebody. She has been browbeaten by her verbally abusive father. She obeys him to a fault, except where the “Watchman” is concerned. She thinks the notes left by him might lead her to an actual meeting. Is this man who she believes has been watching over her, protecting her, maybe her father?
The second timeline is present day, featuring Chandler Faulk. Chandler is a young woman who works for her uncle, restoring or repurposing old properties. She is a single mom with no idea who the father of her child is after a rebellious streak in her college days. She has taken on the project of refurbishing some old buildings from the 1920s that housed circus employees when they weren’t traveling. There is a rumor that one of the seamstresses of the circus was murdered in one of the buildings, and a local real estate agent takes people on tours of the site where the creepy factor for ghosts is prominent. Chandler also struggles with her health due to Lyme disease that takes a toll on her if she isn’t careful with her diet and rest regimen. Enter Hank, a biker/repairman whose uncle owns the house Chandler is renting. His gruff exterior and how he dresses puts her off at first, but she learns not to judge a book by its cover. She also has experienced that herself with her physical condition. Hank helps her and challenges her, but he is also seeking the answer to an old mystery. Chandler gets involved and what they find is not at all what they expect.
Here is another good story that builds the creepy factor over the course of the book but when all is said and done, the creepiness is explained with facts. For those who like a little bit of scariness in their fiction, this fits the bill. I like the mystery between the two timelines and how they thread together to form an enjoyable read. Faith is plays a role in the story, which I always like to see, and maybe in the next story that could be more evident. There is also a bit of romance, too!
Note: The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. ( )
  lamb521 | Dec 7, 2020 |
I liked both the historic and modern day settings for this novel. Chandler would be imagining the people and what it looked like in the past and through Pippa the reader is able to picture it a bit more accurately. The alternating storyline format was done well. However, I felt more description was needed for the present timeline to make the characters come alive in my imagination. I felt much more invested in the historic storyline.

If asked what type of book I thought it was, well, that's really open to interpretation. Mainly it's a mystery but it's also a tale about women standing up for themselves against actual or perceived cultural norms, and there's some romance too. ( )
  astults | Dec 1, 2020 |
I love everything Jaime Jo Wright has written. "The Haunting of Bonaventure Circus" is truly inspirational while being a page-turning "who done it". Anyone who is a suspense reader should give this book a read. ( )
  khoyt | Nov 6, 2020 |
Pippa was rejected from the circus when she was a baby. Now in 1928, she wants to find out the truth about her roots, but a lurking killer may be after the members of the circus troupe. In present day, a Realtor determining the fate of an old circus train depot is pulled into the dark story surrounding it in The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by author Jaime Jo Wright.

While creepy tales aren't my go-to kind of reading, my Jane-Eyre-loving self can sometimes go for something a little spooky anyway. (Granted, I personally didn't find Jane Eyre to be as spooky a novel as legend seems to have made it out to be.)

Upon starting this split-timeline ChristFic suspense novel, it was immediately clear to me that the author is no novice with a pen. She's got a deft flair for imagery and atmosphere. However, as I went along, the unfolding of the story was slow for me, hard to get a workable grip on, and there wasn't much to contrast the downbeat essence surrounding the dual heroines. Aside from a scene with an endearing elephant that tugged on me, I hadn't gotten into the read after working through almost 100 pages, so I decided not to continue.

Even so, as it's plain that a lot of other readers have loved this book, anyone who finds the description intriguing may do well to give it a go.
____________
Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
  NadineC.Keels | Oct 16, 2020 |
A serial killer, a circus, an elephant, and two young woman trying to find their way in the world. These elements are put together in one doozy of a story. There are two timelines - one in the present where a young single mom named Chandler is trying to prove herself. Her firm has recently bought an old train depot that was used by the Bonadventure Circus - and that was reported to be where one of the circus employees was hanged to death. As she seeks to put together a proposal for the renovation of the depot as a historic attraction, Chandler begins to uncover disturbing things about the past. The other timeline takes us to the past, where a young woman named Pippa who is the adopted daughter of the owner of the Bonadventure circus is trying to decide whether or not she should trust the mysterious Watchman. The Watchman has been leaving her cryptic notes since she was a young child, and she thinks they may be tied to the mystery of who her birth parents were. All she knows is they were from the circus - a place she feels drawn to even though her father forbids her to go there.
I enjoyed some of the suspense elements of the book. I wanted the baby elephant born at the circus to survive - and I was glad when Pippa was able to help with that. I wondered who the Watchman was and who committed the murders that had happened in the past. Was the train depot and costume shop really haunted? Why did Hank keep poppinig up in Chandler's house at weird and unexpected times? By the end of the book most of these questions were answered, but there were still some holes that I didn't quite understand. Some of this was OK - like whether or not there were really "hauntings" going on. Some pieces of the plot didn't quite seem to fit together though and that kind of bothered me, I can't be too specific but overall not all the parts of the story clicked together for me and I didn't feel a stronge connection to most of the characters. This was a book I could have easily put down. I know many others loved it though, so if someone wants a somewhat creepy book from the Inspirational genre this one will fit the bill. ( )
  debs4jc | Oct 2, 2020 |
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