Stars Over the Tent by Florence Musgrave
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When I visited my grandparents the only age-appropriate reading materials were the books my parents (and their siblings) had loved when they were children. 40-ish years later I remembered one book about a girl and Chautauqua, asked if anyone had a title on the What's the Name of that Book board and someone came up with this title.
Was this the book I remembered? I'm not sure - I'd thought the heroine was older, and that there was a love interest, which doesn't appear in this book. Susan is 12, raised in a children's Home since she was young because her father is a touring musician (on the Chautauqua circuit in the summer, the Lyceum tour in winter) who cannot raise her after her mother's death. However, when you're 12 you leave the Home and now it's time for Susan to rejoin her father; she's taken cello, and is quite good, as her father sees her joining his act. Of course, after all this time, they are strangers and most of the book is spent with them trying to reach out to each other.
Set in 1912, written in 1953 (which leads me to believe this is not the right book; my parents would have been too old for this book at that point) Stars Over the Tent is a quiet read about an era before mass entertainment takes over.