Written by Danielle Steel
Review by Claire Thurlow

Alex and Nick are German aristocrats, enjoying comfortable lives until Hitler’s increasingly powerful Reich threatens both men and their families. Close friends since childhood, Alex and Nick are both widowers with children. When Nick discovers that he is part Jewish, he is forced to flee the country with his two sons and make a new life in the United States. Thanks to Alex’s gift of eight horses, including the Lipizzaner stallion, Pegasus, Nick is able to support himself by joining the circus, where he falls in love with a beautiful high-wire artiste, Christianna. Alex, meanwhile, is concerned for the safety of his seventeen-year old daughter, Marianne, and bribes a Nazi officer to let her leave Germany. Arriving alone in England, Marianne must adapt to life in a country which is at war with her homeland. She worries about her father who is left behind to protect the family estate from the Nazis, but her loneliness is eased by romance with a young RAF pilot.

The novel provides an interesting insight into life in the circus, showing the hardships and dangers behind the glitter of the big top. Nick’s almost instant success as a star attraction seems a little too easy, and his romance with a girl young enough to be his daughter is rather off-putting. However, the characters are engaging and the story moves at a good pace. The final chapters move beyond the war years, and follow the fortunes of future generations of the two families. The novel provides an entertaining read and will be especially appealing to all those who love horses.