Constance is a wild, stubborn young girl growing up poor in a small industrial town. But beneath her threadbare exterior beats the heart of a dreamer and a wordsmith. She feeds her hunger for reading by picking the lock on the local bookstore late at night to enjoy her own private reading room. But at age 12, she's orphaned. With no relatives to take her in, the local authorities scheme to take charge of the bewildered girl's life. Running away to join the circus - like kids do in adventure books - seems like such a brilliant idea...or is it? That was six long years ago. Now, Constance is 18, fed up with the constraints of life under the big-top, and despairing for her future. She's ready to dust off her old dreams, but first she's going to need another cunning escape plan. Can a young, newly-freed woman travel the road to her dreams and a place to call home? Step back in time to 1895 and take a wild, occasionally hilarious ride with Constance and the friends she meets along the way, as she travels the dirt roads and blue skies of a country called Industralia. Her journey winds through towns and cities bursting with creative eccentrics, high-flying airships, dazed automatons, brilliantly cracked inventors and more than a few kindred spirits. With allies like these, what could possibly go wrong?
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Constance tells a ripping tale!
I recommend this book to everyone. It is a delightful tale, and hearing Constance tell her story is so wonderful.
I think what I like best is that Constance takes us on a journey to magical places while overcoming obstacles and exploring a wondrous world - and while she certainly encounters kind and helpful people who assist her along her way she always has agency. No sitting around waiting for rescue for this young lady! Even if it means being shot out of a cannon...
Ah...that is hard. She did a wonderful job. But I have an abiding fondness for Constance.
Oh heavens, so much laughter.
Having grown up on stories of boys adventuring and girls being rescued by adventurers, it always delights me to come across a compelling and well written story with a young woman as the protagonist. And this is a story that has all that, and leaves you wanting more. More Brassbright, more Constance, and more tinkerers!!
- Stephanie W. Harper