While I found both the device of the elderly protagonist as a nursing home resident and the wealth of detail about Depression-era circuses interesting, in general, this book was one of those poor souls that I forced myself to finish. The plot was quite predictable, many of the characters were quite one-dimensional, and the 'surprise' ending implausible.
Here's what pushed me over the edge in this book - the dialogue of the 1930's characters never rang true to me. This is exemplified by one character saying "I've got your back", to paraphrase. Sorry to be so picky, but when an author goes to great lengths to amass sufficient research to attempt a recreation of a by-gone era, it is especially important to attend to details.