*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
William Barker lives in New York in 1925. He has a good job in banking, a house, a 1923 Model T Ford and his pride and joy, a lively seven-year-old son named James. His life would be perfect if it weren’t for his wife Helen. No longer the loving, slim, smiling woman he married she has turned into a termagant making what should be a relaxing and loving home life nearly intolerable. However, he’s not one to give up just because things are rough and he has James to love. Until a few seconds of inattention changes everything. How will he go on when he believes he would have been better off dead?
Talk about life changing. William goes through something that turns his life upside down. Alone and horribly scarred, he’s still healing physically and trying to heal mentally, but when his boss says the scars will distract the important bank clients he doesn’t even have a job to occupy his mind. After being rejected at various places while looking for employment he begins to wonder how he will support himself. As luck would have it, when he’s driven out of a diner by people calling him a monster, Roland Skelton comes to his aid. Roland owns a traveling carnival and he believes he has just the job for William if William is willing to take a chance. While skeptical about the job, after thinking it over, William decides he has nothing to lose in giving it a go, so he signs a three year contract and becomes Skelton’s Spectacular Traveling Carnival’s new headliner, Frankenstein’s Monster.
The beginning of this book is a bit slow going, but my favorite part is the description of Coney Island. James is wonderful, but Helen is a cold bitch and I just wanted to reach out and smack the shit outta her. William, ah, William. You can’t help but love the guy. Keep tissues handy. I had to give up reading this book in public because of the waterworks that would suddenly pop up. William goes through quite a lot and comes out stronger in the end. The description of the traveling carnival life is very interesting and the other performers are great. I especially loved Roland. As the book was reaching the conclusion I ran several scenarios through my mind, trying to think how it might end. I have to say though, I did not see that particular ending coming. My gast was flabbered. This book has stuck with me. I’m still thinking about it and I’m sure I’ll be thinking about it for some time to come.