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The Circus Train is the story of Lena Papadopoulos, the daughter of a renowned Greek illusionist, who lives onboard The World of Wonders, a travelling circus that criss-crosses Europe. Restricted by her wheelchair, Lena has never quite found her place within the circus world, but her life is turned upside down when she rescues a starving French-Polish orphan, Alexandre Robichaud, during a stay in Amsterdam.  

Lena is thrilled when her beloved father, Theo, agrees to take the boy on as his apprentice, promising to hide his identity. In Alexandre, she finds someone who sees her for who she is instead of what she can’t do. Their close friendship grows into something more over time, as the circus makes its way around the continent, dazzling crowds with its magic and wonder. 

The young lovers and Theo are eventually betrayed by someone they trust, which results in the Nazis capturing both the illusionist and his apprentice. They are sent to a transit camp in Czechoslovakia, from which they dont return. Orphaned, Lena is left behind and has to find and make her way in an unknown and hostile world, far away from the beauty and charm of her childhood.

Ten years later, Lena has found herself a new family and forged a career, having given up her dreams of becoming a doctor. But when she is unexpectedly accepted into the University of Paris, she once again has to leave her old life behind. However, when she arrives in Paris, she is confronted by a life-changing secret from her past, forcing her to come to terms with what really happened all those years ago and to accept that her life, and her beloved father, are not who, or what she thought they were.