By Kelly Bridgewater
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!
I enjoyed reading Kristy Cambron's Hidden Masterpiece series set in World War II. Her new book The Ringmaster's Wife is set in the late nineteenth century and the 1920's.
Cambron does a good job at knowing her history. She does a good job at knowing how a circus runs and how many people need to be working on the team, in order, for the circus to perform night after night. I never once doubted that the acts the characters were doing were not real, even though I, personally, have never seen a circus live. Cambron wraps me in this world and allows my imagination to take flight.
While I enjoyed the story, the plot did drag a little in the middle. There was a mystery that takes place on the side, but it really gets shoved to the side, even by Rose who believes it is really nothing to worry about. Rose kept wanting to go home to England over and over again, but Colin keeps changing her mind, keeping Rose in the circus act.
From the title of the story The Ringmaster's Wife, I thought the story was going to be completely about Mable and John Ringling's love story. But I was wrong. For the longest time, I watched the story of Rose and her immersion into the circus as a bareback rider. Yes, I watched Mable leave her home farm and rush to the city, searching for her dreams, which she believes she finds in John, but the story doesn't focus on them that much. Their plot seemed not to be as important to the story as Rose and Colin's.
I recommend The Ringmaster's Wife to fans of Cambron's other works or anyone who is fans of circus' and historical fiction. It is a nice way to spend a couple of hours.
With dreams flying high across the tightrope, Kristy Cambron's The Ringmaster's Wife invited me into a world of wild animals and daring acts of the Ringling Bros. circus. Cambron's research is suburb, inviting me into the crazy, yet organized world of a circus. With attention to detail, Cambron focuses on the idea of chasing one's dream with Mable and Rose.
I received a complimentary copy of The Ringmaster's Wife from Thomas Nelson publishing and the opinions stated are all my own.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Have you ever been to the circus? What was your favorite part? The animals? The performers? Clothes?