As Soon as I read the synopsis for this book I wanted to read it. Nothing was going to stop me, not even my "I will not be swayed reading list" So I downloaded it and began almost instantly.
Set in the late 1940's. It begins with Sarah, a widow,who works her husbands family farm on her own, being dragged off to the Carnival with some friends.
In the canvas tent along with the obese, bearded, dwarfs and hermaphrodites, Sarah discovers the tattooed man. Covered head to toe in a tapestry of colours,and wearing nothing but a loin cloth.
Since seeing him, she is drawn to him in her dreams and in waking.
Tom, has been made a "freak" by the ruthless and immoral carnival owner. Since he was eight years old, Tom has been trapped, marked, and forced to endure physical and mental abuse.
Sarah discovers Tom the next day in her barn after the Carnival leaves. He is half starved, socially ignorant and smelly, lol!
The attraction they form is incredible. The sex is steamy,heartfelt and erotic (for the 1940's lol)And of course you get to read all about Tom's beautiful body.
The book covers the difficulties Tom's presence creates in a small religious community. Together they face the obstacles that will either destroy them or hold them.
Sarah is a wonderful selfless character and very easy to like. We have the villain in Mr Reed. And the broken and beautiful Tom who almost stole my heart.
Now I say he almost stole my heart because I feel like I wanted to know him more. I am greedy with my hero's, I need to feel their pain and torment, I want to know their thoughts. I need to know everything that happened to him, warts and all.
So for me, this is where the story fell short. Tom's issues and past torment at the hands of the Carnival owner, seemed to be a no go area that wasn't discussed between him and Sarah. She didn't want to upset him? Apart from a few throw away, yet disturbing comments from Tom,you only get the smallest idea at the extent of his abuse. He seemed fine and just accepted what was. I suppose that's cool. But like I said, I'm greedy for emotions and angst and I wanted to fix him, but I wasn't given the chance. I feel robbed.
I really would have liked an epilogue too!(see greedy)It needed an epilogue. I think that would have completed this story.
So for me 3.5 Star read! I liked it and almost really loved it!