Lindsay Eagar’s dazzling YA debut welcomes us backstage at the Family Fortuna circus, where wonders lie in wait to steal your breath away. You won’t believe your eyes!
Beaked. Feathered. Monstrous. Avita was born to be a star. Her tent sells out nightly, and every performance incites bloodcurdling screams. She’s the most lucrative circus act from Texas to Tacoma, the crown jewel of the Family Fortuna, and Avita feeds on the shrieks, the gasps, the fear. But when a handsome young artist arrives to create posters of the performers, she’s appalled by his rendering of Bird Girl. Is that all he sees? A hideous monster—all sharp beak and razor teeth, obsidian eyes and ruffled feathers? Determined to be more, Avita devises a plan to snatch freedom out from under the greased mustache of her charismatic father, the domineering proprietor and ringmaster. But will their fragile circus family survive the showdown she has in mind? By turns delightful and disturbing, bawdy and breathtaking, horrific and heartfelt, this electric and exquisitely crafted story about a family like no other challenges our every notion of what it means to be different—subject to an earful of screams—and to step out of the shadows and shine anyway.
About the Author
Lindsay Eagar is the highly acclaimed author of the middle-grade novels Hour of the Bees, Race to the Bottom of the Sea, The Bigfoot Files, and The Patron Thief of Bread. The Family Fortuna is her debut novel for young adults. She lives in the mountains of Utah with her husband and their two daughters.
A richly compelling story about sympathetic, queer, and remarkable carny folks that consistently delivers earnest and heartfelt camp. Eager’s punchy, funny prose never falters, and Avita’s relatable development—sexual and otherwise—alongside her siblings’ pursuit of some semblance of independence from the large, looming figure of their father cleverly reshapes concepts of beauty, seduction, and coming-of-age. Readers will want to grab tickets to this thoughtful, provocative read. —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
Eagar (The Patron Thief of Bread) presents a resplendent family saga set against the backdrop of a traveling circus. . . . By combining a beguiling premise with sinister ambiance, complex characterizations, and arresting, literary-leaning language, Eagar presents an absorbing read that examines the effect of familial pressures and conflict on one’s mental health and self-perception. —Publishers Weekly
In her YA debut, Eagar (The Patron Thief of Bread, 2022) conjures up a fantastical historical novel featuring the Family Fortuna traveling circus, famed “from Texas to Tacoma. . . . Rich language envelops the reader in layers of sensory detail. At times nearly poetic, it can also be crass, anachronistic, and even funny. —Booklist
Full of gorgeous monsters and fallen angels, rich language and deep longing, The Family Fortuna is a feast of a book. I swallowed it whole. —Alix E. Harrow, New York Times best-selling author
Eagar perfectly balances both the sublime and the wretched in this talon-sharp look at what it means to be a performer—and a family. The Family Fortuna will linger in your heart long after you leave their circus. —Kiersten White, #1 New York Times best-selling author
Heartbreaking, irreverent, hilarious, grotesquely gorgeous (or is it gorgeously grotesque?), and ultimately triumphant—The Family Fortuna paints an unforgettable picture of a dazzling circus, a messy family bursting with equal parts love and resentment, and most beautifully of all, a girl finding the courage to accept, embrace, and celebrate her true self. Words aren’t enough to describe how much I loved this weird, fantastical, exquisitely crafted book. It has my whole heart. —Claire Legrand, New York Times best-selling author