Jamrach's Menagerie

Jamrach's Menagerie - Carol Birch This is a true story: while being delivered to Jamrach’s menagerie near Ratcliffe Highway, a Bengal tiger escaped. “An eight-year-old boy who walked up and patted it on the nose was knocked down and carried away in its mouth, but escaped unhurt after Jamrach jumped on the tiger’s back.”

That eight-year-old boy of the historical record becomes Jaffy Brown in Carol Birch’s tenth novel, Jamrach’s Menagerie.

She recounts this and one other historical snippet in the acknowledgments, which appear at the end of the novel, after it’s become impossible to believe that it’s only Jamrach who was real, not Jaffy Brown.

Even though there were parts of this book that I hated (and if you've read it, you'll know exactly what I mean), I absolutely love the fact that Carol Birch was able to transport me to such unexpected places with ink and paper; I'm finding it hard to shake the experience of this read, and I'm looking forward to discovering more of this author's fiction.

I have lots more to say about Jamrach's Menagerie here.