Wow - If your racist aunt went to Mexico this is the sort of book she'd probably write. I was literally gobsmacked with the writer's apparent prejudices leaking out and staining the pages. Many of the Mexicans who took care of and looked out for her during her jaunt in Mexico are described pretty much only in terms of how light or dark-skinned they were - not much else. Not their personalities, bodily characteristics or anything else only if they were light or dark skinned. This was odd but I tried to look past this until I got to the page where the writer describes someone's buttocks as, "..small and rounded and protuberant as a negro's."!!! This book was written in the 1990s and she's calling black people negros!!??? Really!?? I found this quite objectionable.
Outside of that her situation that she writes of is a very strange set up, a thirty something year old woman running away to 'observe' the circus in Mexico (she doesn't actively participate in any proper performances she just sits on an elephant in the mass parade before the show even though they tried to train her in aerial work) and hanging out with friends who are all young teenagers (she doesn't appear to have much to do with the people at the circus who are her age) so we observe the circus through that the eyes of cloistered teenagers.
If you want to read about the circus and circus performers there are plenty of other truly glorious books out there such as 'The Trapeze Diaries,' 'Dreams of the Solo Trapeze' and 'Nights At The Circus' and if you want to read about Mexico I'm sure there is far better out there than this. I would strongly recommend that you give this book a miss. It's very unsatisfying.