Do you have any authors who you've seen nothing but lovely reviews for their books, you even own a couple of said books, yet you've not actually read one? Sounds crazy, right? I cannot explain why on earth this particular story was the first I've ever read by Ms. Bischof, but believe me, I plan to pick up her others as soon as I possibly can! Because if this beautiful story is proof of her amazing talent with the pen, then I can only imagine that her other books are wonderful as well. And I think you should do the same. Charlie is so worth meeting, friends! He truly is.
But you need to meet Ella too! And Holland. And Regina. Each character is so vividly described and even the side characters add much to the story! Plus I confess that I'm particularly fond of the setting, considering it's an area I know very well. Virginia is the home of my heart, as I grew up there, and getting a taste of what it must have been like during the Victorian era is fun! As for the circus itself, this is my first time reading about that life. I remember a few things I learned at some point in my past, like the sideshows that were involved, but I'd never truly imagined what those people's lives must have been like. I hurt for them as much as I loved them. And I absolutely loved the way they were their own little family. When you live and work with people for years and years, it makes sense that you'd create strong bonds between you. Bonds that would never go away, no matter the time or distance. Bonds that sustained you through all the hard that inevitably comes in life. Bonds that meant you could truly be yourself with each other, open up and be vulnerable together.
That's what I feel like Ms. Bischof did with this story. The characters so tentatively opened up and were vulnerable to me. They showed the tender sides of their hearts, as if waiting to see what I would do, and then proceeded to gently sweep me into their fold, never to let go. The beauty in what they shared became powerful lessons not to be forgotten! As the hours and days after finishing this story proved, for I still cannot let go. These characters, Charlie especially, have became part of me now. They're in my head, my heart, and there they will stay.
Fellow reader friends, I can only encourage you to read this one! From the first quiet, yet indelibly real and haunting meeting of Ella and Charlie in chapter one, to the final pages where hope reigns no matter the circumstances, this story may capture your heart as it did mine. And I'll never be the same.
From head to toe she was perfect and there wasn't a single part of her that was less than.
"But there is a part of you that isn't whole."
When she blinked quickly, he reached out and nearly pressed his fingers to where her heart lived. "It grieves me to think of why that is and I can't go another minute without telling you that there is a God. And He loves you so much. He aches for you. He can be a jealous God, and at times even angry. I believe..." with his whole heart... "that He is both of those on your behalf."