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Prague, Czech Republic
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  • Location: Coney Island, Manhattan

A Girl Made of Air

A Girl Made of Air

Why a Booktrail?

1983 looking back: This is the story of The Greatest Funambulist Who Ever Lived…


  • ISBN: 978-1529408874
  • Genre: Fantasy/Sci Fi, Historical

What you need to know before your trail

Born into a post-war circus family, our nameless star was unwanted and forgotten, abandoned in the shadows of the big top. Until the bright light of Serendipity Wilson threw her into focus.

Now an adult, haunted by an incident in which a child was lost from the circus, our narrator, a tightrope artiste, weaves together her spellbinding tales of circus legends, earthy magic and folklore, all in the hope of finding the child… But will her story be enough to bring the pair together again?

Travel Guide

Roll up Roll up and join the world of the circus

Mouse is the greatest funambulist who ever lived. She has lived and breathed the circus and the world around it and this is the atmosphere you fall into as a reader.

From the circus where she is lost and needs to find her place, she soon finds it and more. The circus is a richly created world here where you can hear everything from the hooves on sawdust to the roar of the crowd. The imagery is everything you would expect from a circus and more. For this is  dark world – once you go behind the glitz and glamour of the circus, there is darkness and danger.

The sense of the circus and the life of those who live it create a world not dissimilar to that of a fairytale. The writing is magical, ethereal and whimsical and the effect is to be enjoyed.

The locations of Coney Island and Manhattan are where the events of the novel take place. Coney Island in particular was described as “Heaven at the end of a subway ride.” It was home to Sea Lion Park, the first enclosed amusement park, which opened in 1895. In addition, it became famous for having several of the best-known amusement parks in the world such as Steeplechase Park, Luna Park and Dreamland.

Trail Gallery

Booktrailer Review

Oh a novel about a circus, set in England and Coney island, featuring a funambulist by the name of Mouse? They were the first three reasons to read this book. The cover was another one. There were many more, believe me.

Mouse is the leading figure in this showstopper of a story. How she got that name is both sad and interesting, but we meet her as as adult as she remembers and indeed, recovers from her childhood. There’s lots of stories to come out of this one but be aware there are some dark and very sad, poignant moments too.

Mouse isn’t the only one with a great name however. Serendipity, the tightrope queen with hair as red as rubies takes Mouse under her wing and gets her into the spotlight so to speak. Their friendship is fascinating to see how it develops and the characters are drawn so vividly that I’m sure I would recognise either of them in the street. The tightrope walking scenes will make the hairs on the back of your neck stick up!

The story of The Girl Made of Air is told y Mouse who corresponds with a journalist in New York and through letters and other things, we learn of Mouse’s story. How she joins and loves the circus, then how she is forced to leave it and find her own way in life. Tragedy is always waiting in the wings but Mouse seeks the spotlight as a street performer in Coney Island for now. She has come here for one reason and one reason only. That is the story we see threaded and woven throughout the novel. Like a circus performer yourself, you as the reader will swing back and forth from happiness to sadness, elation to sorrow and wonderment to shock.

This is a novel of light and dark. Dark shadows as you wait for the bright lights of the main scene to come on. There are dark shadows floating all around you, behind you and beside you. This is a circus tent where shadows and corners of darkness are the norm. What this author does however, is weave a magical world  –  yet this is a dangerous and dank world of behind the scenes of a circus. Think Grim Fairy Tales and stories of fables and surreal worlds. Then roll up for a spectacular of a show you will never forget. But bring your hankies and your candles for when the darkness gets too much.

BookTrail Boarding Pass: A Girl Made of Air

Destination/location: Coney Island, NYC, England    Author/guide: Nydia Hetherington  Departure Time: 1983 ‘looking back

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