The Weight of Air

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Two women--bound by blood, torn apart by circumstance--find together that true strength comes in many forms.

In 1911, Mabel MacGinnis is Europe's strongest woman and has performed beside her father in the Manzo Brothers Circus her entire life. When he dies unexpectedly, she loses everything she's ever known and sets off in the company of acrobat Jake Cunningham in hope of finding the mother she thought was dead.

Isabella Moreau, America's most feted aerialist, has given everything to the circus. But age and injury now threaten her security, and Isabella, stalked by old fears, makes a choice that risks everything. Then her daughter Mabel appears alongside the man who never wanted to see Isabella again, and she is forced to face the truth of where, and in what, she derives her worth.

As Mabel and Isabella's lives become entangled beneath the glittering lights and flying trapeze of Madison Square Garden, their resiliency and resolve are tested as they learn the truth of what it means to be strong.

"Kimberly Duffy not only delivers a beautiful escape, but she also adds layers of emotional depth to build a captivating story readers will love."--JULIE CANTRELL, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Perennials


The Weight of Air offers an engaging behind-the-scenes peek at life--and love--in the circus! Even better, it takes place in Switzerland, Italy, and New York in 1911. Kimberly Duffy does a wonderful job of showing how these unusual main characters change and grow as the story unfolds.

Lynn Austin, author of Long Way Home

In The Weight of Air, Kimberly Duffy not only delivers a beautiful escape, she also adds layers of emotional depth to build a captivating story readers will love. By weaving complex historical threads together seamlessly, Duffy broadens our perspective and reminds us to be gentle with one another.

Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Perennials

Masterful storytelling! I was immediately hooked into this lively circus story--and these characters. Duffy offers a fresh, heartfelt, absolutely stunning tale of a strongwoman who discovers her true strength. The tender relationships between mother and daughter, between hero and heroine, leave readers aching for a beautiful ending, and Duffy does not disappoint!

Joanna Davidson Politano, author of The Lost Melody

The Weight of Air is a shimmering novel about family and what happens when we let fear choke out love . . . wrapped up in a Gilded Age circus with all the drama, glamor, and darkness that foreshadows.

Janyre Tromp, author of Shadows in the Mind's Eye

The Author

  1. Kimberly Duffy
    © Laura Hicks Photography

    Kimberly Duffy

    Kimberly Duffy ( is a Long Island native currently living in southwest Ohio, via six months in India. When she's not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes her readers back in time and across oceans. She...

    Continue reading about Kimberly Duffy


"The Weight of Air is a refreshing historical romance novel set among circus performers who struggle, but also triumph."

Foreword Reviews

"Heartbreaking yet hopeful, this a marvelously complex and candid portrayal of the silent suffering of postpartum depression and anxiety. Characters' eccentricities offer an unexpected and captivating break from convention, especially regarding gender, and Christian faith is moderately integrated into themes of strength and worth."


"[A] remarkable mother-daughter tale. . . . A fascinating chronicle of circus life."