Friday, July 1, 2016

Review: The Ringmaster's Wife by Kristy Cambron

About the book:

The Ringmaster's Wife (Thomas Nelson, June 2016)

An ounce of courage. A split-second leap of faith. Together, they propel two young women to chase a new life---one that's reimagined from what they might have become.

In turn-of-the-century America, a young girl dreams of a world that stretches beyond the confines of a quiet life on the family farm. With little more than her wit and a cigar box of treasures to call her own, Mable steps away from all she knows, seeking the limitless marvels of the Chicago World's Fair. There, a chance encounter triggers her destiny---a life with a famed showman by the name of John Ringling.

A quarter of a century later, Lady Rosamund Easling of Yorkshire, England, boards a ship to America as a last adventure before her life is planned out for her. There, the twenties are roaring, and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties in the grandest ballrooms the country has to offer. The Jazz Age has arrived, and with it, the golden era of the American circus, whose queen is none other than the enigmatic Mable Ringling.

When Rosamund's path crosses with Mable's and the Ringlings' glittering world, she makes the life-altering decision to leave behind a comfortable future of estates and propriety, instead choosing the nomadic life of a trick rider in the Ringling Brothers' circus.

A novel that is at once captivating, deeply poignant, and swirling with exquisite historical details of a bygone world, The Ringmaster's Wife will escort readers into the center ring, with its bright lights, exotic animals, and a dazzling performance that can only be described as the greatest show on earth!

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My Review:

The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron is my first read by her and I am impressed.  This story follows two characters, one fictional and one real life and gives us their viewpoints of a time in American’s history that featured the very popular circus.  The Ringling Bros. circus to be exact and we are treated to a fictional account of how Mabel Ringling met her husband John Ringling and the early events that could have shaped her life.  This story is sprinkled throughout with mentions of famous people and the accomplishments and gifts the Ringling’s gave to society. 

Lady Rosamund Easling is running from a life that might have appeared as a  privileged young lady on the outside, but she is hoping to escape her parents goal of marrying her off to the highest bidder.  She escapes England with her beloved horse with the help of Colin Keary the head manager of the circus.  He sees a talent in her that he believes will make her the next big star.  Rosamund is unsure of herself, wracked with self-doubt, and outside pressures to quit- till she meets Mabel Ringling. 

The main parts of the story take place over a period of a few years with flashbacks throughout giving us a much bigger picture.  This story is filled with the life of a circus performer, animals, jealousy, secret love, danger and a message about forgiving yourself and embracing the life God has given to you.  To paraphrase Rose; we all are broken. 

I highly recommend this read as I was swept back into an entertainment life that though I would not want to live it, it might have been fun to be a part of it for a while.  I received a copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity and the opinions are my own honest ones. 

About the author:  

Kristy Cambron fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, was named Library Journal Reviews' "Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction)" for February 2015.

Cambron is an art/design manager at storytelling ministry. She holds a degree in art history from Indiana University and has nearly 15 years of experience in instructional design and communications for a Fortune-100 company. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good Christian fiction read.

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