I have to say I was disappointed with the characters in this books, none of them got enough development for us to feel anything towards them, except maybe for Walter!
Old Jacob was also very real as an old man, but quite depressing.
Therefore I didn't really care for the romance, I just didn't feel it, and I didn't care if they ended up together or not.
August as supposedly the bad character didn't make it either, I was really angry with him for being cruel to the animals, but that was it.
And the little mention of a mental illness was totally useless and didn't help the story at all. I think it would have been better if we just thought he was bad and cruel.
Now, the circus description was really interesting, even though I got lost a bit sometimes, but I wish there was more about it, and the other performances as well.
And I love animals, and like to think their smart, but really I don't think an animal is capable of plain cold murder, kill yes, but just commit murder and act as if nothing happened, it was a bit farfetched and I think it was the author's way of getting rid of August.
I also thought the author was a bit crude, I don't think I want to read more by her, but I would love to read more fiction with circus in it.