RUNNING away to join the circus might seem like a fantasy, but for Judy Westwater it was a reality that transformed her life.

In this autobiography she tells of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her rogue of a husband and her battle to give her four children the life she longed for herself.

Judy Westwater was only 11 when she was forced to live on the streets, where she was beaten, starved and horrifically abused.

She fled to England and joined the circus at Belle Vue in Manchester, where she met the “man of her dreams”.

But shortly after the wedding day her marriage quickly turned abusive and she struggled to escape.

Circus life took her and her family all over the globe, flitting from New Zealand to Beirut and South Africa, often living out of a suitcase and fleeing at short notice.

Her life and story is as interesting as it gets, but sadly the book speeds through the latter years far too quickly.

In turn it leaves many stories, especially those featuring her children, unfinished.