I wasn't interested in this book when I first heard about it. The circus and the Great Depression weren't topics I wanted to read about. I had friends who really enjoyed it and then it was being read for my book club. I'm so glad I decided to try it because it was really good. The main character is in his 90's and tells of his youth in flashbacks. The transistions between the time periods is very smooth and there are great characters in both eras. There is also a mystery introduced in the very beginning that will hook you right way.