I'm not sure I would really say this was a romance. It felt more like a telling of Jacob's life (which it was) but I don't think it had some overly romantic overtones to it. I had a few friends recommend this to me and while I did enjoy it, I wasn't able to lose myself in the story. When the story revolved around Jacob as an old man held my attention more than when he was in the circus.
I did enjoy the parts in 1930, as well, just not as much as older Jacob. I liked seeing how the circus ran and what life was like for the workers and the performers. It was a little hard to really picture the clothing and style in my head, but I had fun trying to imagine it all.
One of the things I really liked seeing in this was how life was for everyone during the Prohibition. While it didn't have main focus in the book, it still had played a role in the characters lives. Even endangering one mans life. I'm glad I read this, but I don't think this will be one I reread.