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The Ringmaster’s Wife

 
 
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Pros


Fascinating read concerning the time period and the circus history. Interesting, believable characters.

Cons


It was hard for me to discern who the title character is. I assume it is Mable Ringling but in one sentence of the story a single man, a main character, is called the ringmaster. I wanted more about the actual circus life.


Bottom Line

This novel had to be a great deal of work with a huge amount of research. There is so much within the pages that reflect upon the time period. It holds fascinating facts and a solid story overall.

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Posted July 8, 2016 by

 
Full Review
 
 

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!

In this interesting fictional take on the real life Mr. and Mrs. John Ringling and the circus they owned and operated, Kristy Cambron introduces us to two main female characters in The Ringmaster’s Wife. Lady Rosamund Easling is a restless young woman fighting the expectations her family has for her to marry and settle into a way of life that promises to be boring and soul changing. Mable Ringling is from another generation, certainly of an age equal to Rosamund’s own matriarch and even more intriguing as she left her farming family in Ohio behind to seek out a different life.

To me this is a book about having the bravery to step from life as you and your parents know it into a completely different world you’ve only dreamed of. It’s a solitary journey once that first intent is realized.

Mable is my favorite character but for me she fades into the background at times rather than stays a dominant character in the story. I appreciate that Cambron shows the life she came from and sprinkles her appearances with an obvious growing maturity due to her life experiences including a deep love for the Lord. I can relate to her as a person with a medical condition and rather than become bitter she has that special maturity and willingness to take the younger woman under her wing and give her advice. It is obvious that her strength and faith grows as her body weakens and betrays her. To me, this is the ultimate to strive for, as a Christian, as a woman with a medical challenge. The author shows her to have an abiding peace.

The storyline is injected with mystery and danger focused within Rosamund’s life. The obvious tension and attraction between she and Colin Leary the very heart and soul of the circus keeps the suspense building. Ingenue, the Arabian horse that is the center of Rosamund’s freedom is a special character in the story. The circus animals hold a certain fascination for me as they have since childhood when I watched a movie about the “Big Top”. I also enjoyed reading about the Ca’d’Zan mansion and grounds that are located in the state of Florida.

This novel had to be a great deal of work with a huge amount of research. There is so much within the pages that reflect upon the time period. It holds fascinating facts and a solid story overall.


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