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Tea-drinking introvert found either behind a book or within arm's reach of one. Book reviewer, and book sniffer. You may have seen me on W24, BooksLive, Aerodrome, Bark Magazine, CultNoise Magazine, or Expound Magazine.

15 Jan 2021

Review: A Girl Made of Air by Nydia Hetherington

Mouse had an unusual upbringing. Born to a circus performer, her early years were a blur of big tops, circus animals, and parents who just weren’t all that interested in their daughter. Then one day, a flame-haired girl called Serendipity Wilson comes to the circus, and everything changes. Serendipity takes an interest in Mouse, teaching her to read and write, and eventually, to walk a tightrope.

Over the years, the two women become as close as sisters, and through Serendipity’s tutelage, Mouse becomes a great funambulist, and the star of the show. And just as she thinks that life is starting to look up, Mouse loses Serendipity first to a lover, and eventually to a baby. As their relationship becomes more strained, Serendipity seems to be fading away, becoming a shadow of her former self. To rectify this, Mouse comes up with a brilliant idea, only to have it backfire for her to lose Serendipity forever.

Determined to start fresh, Mouse travels to America, where she seeks a new life and fame. Here, she finds appreciation for her craft, and an audience for her tragic past.

A Girl Made of Air is not your average carnival adventure. Instead of circus freaks and romance, we have dark intrigue and a tragic past.  The narrative is steeped in loss and heartache, and does an excellent job of playing with the reader’s emotions. As Mouse searches for her own story, and seeks to right her wrongs, she strings us along an unusual life filled with wonder, loss, redemption, and finally, peace. If you’re looking for history and myth along with your magic, look no further.

A Girl Made of Air by Nydia Hetherington is published by Quercus, A Hachette company, and is available in South Africa from Jonathan Ball Publishers.