Wellesley author, former circus roustabout, and general free spirit Elizabeth C. Wellington will put this idea into practice at the final reading of her book tour to promote her novel Circus Girl. So step right up to the Needham Library, 1139 Highland Ave., on Thursday, October 19 at 7:30pm to hear her read from her book and answer questions.
Wellington at age 16 left high school to travel around the world alone. The adventurer at one point ran with a small three-ring circus while photographing it and later writing Circus Girl. This first novel is based on Wellington’s experiences on the road and the stories of the circus people she worked with. The novel starts off in the summer of 1971, when seventeen-year-old Sarah runs away with a traveling circus. On the road, she falls in love with West, a handsome performer and swamp rat from Florida with a gift for handling wild animals. When she is given a job as a roustabout in order to follow the show, she is privy to the secrets of jailbirds and misfits from the Deep South. Just before the circus reaches the end of its tour, Sarah makes two unwanted discoveries: that her lover is a drug smuggler, and that she is pregnant with his child.
It was about a year ago when Beth and I sat in my living room sipping tea as I peppered her with questions about life on the road with that sketchy little three-ring circus full of talented performers, big-hearted road warriors, drug dealers, and misfits. You know, just your average great, big, happy family. Now that she’s travelled around on book tour, I just have to get the compare/contrast of the two experiences.
I guess you could call me a fan girl. I loved the book and am looking forward to her next one, which rumor has it, might be set in Spain.