Book Review: The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron

June 26, 2016 Christian, historical, Kristy Cambron, romance 19

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about the book

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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GENRE: Historical Fiction, Romance
PUBLISHER: Thomas Nelson
RELEASE DATE: June 7, 2016
PAGES: 368

“Dream chasing was not for the faint of heart.”

Impeccably researched, gorgeously presented, The Ringmaster’s Wife is my favorite book by Kristy Cambron to date. (And I have LOVED her previous books!) In fact, it’s difficult for me to form adequate words to review it because it’s still so full in my heart.

The Ringmaster's Wife book reviewFor the majority of the novel, we dance back and forth between Mable’s early life (and the beginnings of her relationship with John Ringling) and Rosamund’s early days with the circus. As the narrative progresses, Cambron weaves these timelines together in seamless – and exquisite – perfection until their lives are linked and their stories merge.

“Home can move,” he answered. “As long as your heart goes with it.”

In between and all around, we are treated to the sights and sounds and smells of the Chicago World’s Fair, an Atlantic City pier, and a Jazz Age circus. Cambron’s attention to detail, to history, to setting brings each of these elements vividly and poignantly to life.  Colin and Rosamund are each such wonderful representations of redemption and grace, and the subplot of their romance (while mostly in the background) made my heart smile. Mable and John’s story, as imagined by Cambron, has piqued my interest in their actual historical lives and I foresee some nonfiction reading in my future.

[bctt tweet=”The Ringmaster’s Wife by @KCambronAuthor is a book to savor” username=”meezcarrie”]

Bottom Line: The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron is a book to savor. It’s a book to curl up with and curl up into, letting each word settle in your heart as you allow the story to sweep you away.  Adventure, thrills, romance, suspense, and friendship soar through this novel with the greatest of ease, thanks to Cambron’s exquisite talent, and the rich history that unfolds so creatively will both entertain and intrigue. The Jazz Age is decidedly not my favorite historical setting for fiction, but if they were all as gorgeously done as The Ringmaster’s Wife I may have to eat my words.

“We only see what we want to see, and I want to spend the rest of my life looking at you.”

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)

My Rating: 5 stars / Fantastic!

KissingBook Level: 2 / Warm, rosy internal glow of sweetness

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/28JxcaK

See what others are saying: Litfuse

about the author

kristy cambron

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 TheGROVEstory.com 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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Other Books by Kristy Cambron

What about you? What do you enjoy about the circus? A favorite food? A favorite act? The atmosphere in general? Or would you rather just read about it? 😉

Carrie

19 Responses to “Book Review: The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron”

  1. Rachel Dixon

    It has been so long since I have been to the circus. But I love the atmosphere and excitement and buzz of the circus. I love that they make a stop in my hometown on this book!

      • Rachel Dixon

        Spokane…thunderstorm. Yup! People think WA State and (I think) they think rain. Well we live on the “dry” side and we get awesome storms like in the book. Seattle doesn’t. It doesn’t rain for real over there. Just does this weird misting thing all the time lol! But here…it knows how to rain!

          • Kristy Cambron

            I love this, Rachel! In research, I found the coolest thing… the actual city stops from 1926-1929, so every place/year the circus stopped in the book was factual. The only location I changed by a few days was in the Prologue, in Louisville, KY (because it’s the area where we live and I wanted to include it).

            Beautiful review, Carrie. I don’t usually get the chance to stop by and read reviews, so this was a blessing today. Thank You!

            Hugs to you both!

          • Carrie

            Thank YOU, Kristy! Absolutely gorgeous book 🙂

  2. carylkane

    I don’t remember ever going to the circus. I can’t wait to read Kristy’s newest release! 🙂

  3. Winnie Thomas

    This is on my list already! It sounds so intriguing and original, and I’ve heard so many good things about it. I’m looking forward to reading it soon! I haven’t been to the circus for ages. I can’t even remember much about it, unfortunately.

    • Carrie

      I can’t wait to hear what you think about this one!!