Monday, June 27, 2016

Book Review - The Ringmaster's Wife by Kristy Cambron

Book Synopsis:
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!

My Review:
I was intrigued by this book from the moment I first heard of it.  I love 1920's settings and knew nothing about circus life during this period, so I was eager to read The Ringmaster's Wife.

The Ringmaster's Wife intertwines the story of two women:  Mable, who meets John Ringling at the Chicago World's Fair, and Rosamund, who leaves England looking for a new life - which she finds in the circus.  The story moves back and forth.  I often read books in short snatches of time due to schedule, and found the back and forth narrative a little hard to settle in to initially, but once I did I was reluctant to put the book down!

I especially enjoyed the characters of Rosamund and Colin and their relationship.  The characters in this novel are so well developed, with dialogue and description that moves the novel along. 

The historical details in this book are rich and fascinasting.   The setting of this book is one of the most interesting that I have encountered in the past couple of years. 

I loved reading this book, and recommend it highly for fans of historical fiction, especially with a unique and atmospheric setting.   
Author Bio:
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.

I received a copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.

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