Independent Reading Response Jacob Jankowski and Marlena L’Arche met one day at the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. What started out as a simple friendship slowly turned into an attraction for each other. But in times like those, simple things like that come at a cost. As karma and life would have it, Marlena was married to August Rosenbluth, who as fate would have it happened to be Jacob’s boss. They wanted to be oblivious to their attraction towards each other but things like that are not easily ignored.
One of the main subplots in this book is his romance and love with Marlena. Both he and she know that something as innocent as a hug could lead to big problems with her husband August who just happens to be Paranoid Schizophrenic. August is not so blind to what is happening between his wife and his circus veterinarian. In fact he knows what they have, they type of bond the two of them share, but being mentally ill, he takes it to a whole new level, one of which ends up in, both them and Marlena getting hurt physically and emotionally.
While all this happens Jacob and somewhat Marlena have inward battles with themselves. They try to keep their feet planted on the ground to try to understand what reality is and what they are really doing to each other. They are trying to keep themselves from losing their minds and trying to keep serenity. That is what keeps them from losing their minds. Their constant attempts to stay away from each other and continuing to try and live their lives centered around a circus where nothing is normal is exactly what this book is about. Trying not to lose control and your mind is their main event. All the small other side shows are just bumps in the road that they encounter. They can’t leave each other. They want each other. They simply cannot let go of each other or else they just lose it. They keep each other from going insane and they are what keeps them going and trying to make life worth living for.