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Reviewed by Diane Kane for Readers' Favorite
Maud’s Circus by Michelle Rene is an adventurous historical fiction novel based on a larger-than-life character. Maud escapes home in 1894 at sixteen years old and joins the circus. The characters Maud meets and the adventures she experiences over the next six decades lend themselves well to creating this epic novel. At times, the truth of Maud’s Circus is stranger than fiction, and Rene blends them seamlessly. Rene weaves the tattooed circus lady’s story with the threads of war, weather, and whiskey. Maud covered her skin in art, but she laid her heart bare for those she loved. The people Maud tattooed left with more than a beautiful work of art. Rene gives an intriguing glimpse into the mysterious life behind the circus tent.
Maud’s Circus by Michelle Rene is historical fiction at its best. Maud Wagner is a woman I wish I could have met. Heck, Maud is the woman I wish I could be. She turned art into love and tragedy into triumph. But when Maud raised her skeptical eyebrow, one could only hope she considered you a friend. The circus lights would not have shone as bright without the likes of Maud Wagner. Maud found freedom in her tattoos, and she used her artistic talents to provide that freedom for others. Rene takes you on a heartfelt journey that winds through decades of world events. In the end, it is not enough. Maud’s Circus is one of those rare books that I held to my heart when I finished and wished for more. I will never forget Maud Wagner and Maud’s Circus by Michelle Rene.