Monday, February 20, 2023

The Weight of Air by Kimberly Duffy Book Review

About the Book:

Two women--bound by blood, torn apart by circumstance--find together that true strength comes in many forms.

In 1911, Mabel MacGinnis is Europe's strongest woman and has performed beside her father in the Manzo Brothers Circus her entire life. When he dies unexpectedly, she loses everything she's ever known and sets off in the company of acrobat Jake Cunningham in hope of finding the mother she thought was dead.

Isabella Moreau, America's most feted aerialist, has given everything to the circus. But age and injury now threaten her security, and Isabella, stalked by old fears, makes a choice that risks everything. Then her daughter Mabel appears alongside the man who never wanted to see Isabella again, and she is forced to face the truth of where, and in what, she derives her worth.

As Mabel and Isabella's lives become entangled beneath the glittering lights and flying trapeze of Madison Square Garden, their resiliency and resolve are tested as they learn the truth of what it means to be strong.

You can read an excerpt here.

My Review:

This is a novel for readers who love all things circus. Being a circus performer is the main thread of the plot. Issues explored include getting too old for the act and doing what was necessary to hang on to it, even if immoral. There is also the issue of losing one's partner and main emotional support and wondering if there could be a future.

The plot moves along methodically with much character thought. The very first part of the book was a bit confusing to me, a mother willfully abandoning her husband and daughter, Later we come to understand the battle of postpartum depression and the disastrous effect on their marriage. There is also the concept of strength and what it really means to be a strong woman.

Just as Isabella (Polly) fought the melancholy that stalked her, I felt that was the spirit of this novel. It just didn't grab me and was not a page turner. There was not a clear faith message but there was a good message of forgiveness and reconciliation and the role of one's self image.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

About the Author:

Kimberly Duffy ( is a Long Island native currently living in southwest Ohio, via six months in India. When she's not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes her readers back in time and across oceans. She loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of twenty years. He doesn't mind. Photo Credit: ©Laura Hicks Photography

Bethany House Publishers, 400 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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