Bacchanal is set in the Southern States of America in the 1930s. It follows Eliza Meeks, a young Black girl who has been abandoned by her family and is feared/shunned by the people of the town where she lives because she has the gift of being able to communicate with animals. She is spotted by the talent scout of a travelling carnival and she accepts his offer to join them.
The Bacchanal carnival is unusual in that most of it’s acts are African American, and also because it harbours a dark and magical secret. The book features a lot of African Mythology like animal spirit guides, communicating with ancestors and shape shifting characters as well as demons.
I found it well written with lots of character development as well as growing intrigue as the plot unravels at a fairly unhurried pace. Eliza is a likable character, and her love interests and family relationships are sweet and engaging. I liked the narrator and looked forward to the next installment of this audiobook, sometimes prolonging my runs/walks to be able to listen to more of it!