This was an amazing story of the journey of Moshe who later became known as the Great Zabbatini. Moshe’s great tale began even before he was born when his parents, a rabbi and a young woman, tried to conceive a child. I laughed at this portion of the novel, so creative and bizarre but this chapter just becomes another interesting fact about the Great Zabbatini. There are twists in his life as he grows up, poor Moshe had lived quite a life before he joins up with the circus. After linking up with the circus, Moshe tries to fit in and make a life for himself but it must be something in his blood, as his life is far from quiet and settled. He studies under the eyes of Half Moon Man, learning the trade of magic. It seems like a competition really, between these two, Moshe must try to be original in his new trade and what he does after hours he tries to hide from his boss. He becomes Zabbatini and he ventures off the road, leaving this circus behind him. He’s not alone and it is now that he begins to make his name in the world. He hides that he is Jew, the war is underway and he is worried about his life. Zabbatini is good, whether he is great and can survive this time period is another story. This time in his life was a wonderful story that added to the enjoyment of this novel. Zabbatini, the magician with quite a story and just the person that Max needs.
Max is eleven and his parents are getting divorced. Max doesn’t want his family to fall apart yet he doesn’t know what he can do. While his father boxes up his things at the house, Max comes across an album of The Great Zabbatini. The album catches Max’s attention, Zabbatini’s Greatest Tricks is sprayed across the front. Flipping the album over, Max sees hope, there listed among the tricks on the album is a Love Spell. The hope that will keep his family together, is found. It has been seventy years since Zabbatini made a name of himself, Max needs to now locate this famous magician and see if he can still perform his magic.
I enjoyed these two stories, the way they were told simultaneously throughout the novel. I wished that each section of their story would have been longer before it switched over to the other individual’s story as I felt there was a lot of switching and sometimes the storyline was just getting started when the story would change. I thought the two stories were terrific and as they merged upon one another, it was hard to put the novel down. I highly recommend this novel, I really enjoyed the story of Moshe and adding in Max’s tale, created enticing drama and excitement.
Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster, Inc. for providing to me, a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.