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The Ringmaster's Wife Paperback – June 7, 2016
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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4 stars. 'Cambron takes a real person, Mable Ringling, and breathes fictional life into her while staying true to what is known about this compelling woman. The novel is an intriguing look into circus life in the 1920s. A bit more depth into the characters would have been desirable, but the author’s gift for writing beautifully crafted sentences will draw readers into the story and the fascinating world of the circus.' (RT Book Reviews)
Cambron vividly depicts circus life during the 1920s, when the vast menagerie moved in 100-car trains and the Ringlings were establishing themselves in Sarasota, Fla., society. With a strong supporting cast of friends and family---including a nemesis or two---the women experience heartbreak, loss, hope, and triumph, all set against the colorful backdrop of the greatest show on Earth. (Publishers Weekly)
About the Author
Kristy Cambron has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her debut novel, The Butterfly and the Violin, was named to Library Journal's Best Books of 2014 and nominated for RT Book Reviews' Choice Awards Best Inspirational Novel of 2014 and for the 2015 INSPY Awards for Best Debut Novel. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, was named Library Journal's Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction) for February 2015 and a Top Pick for RT Book Reviews. Kristy holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three young sons. Website: kristycambron.com Twitter: @KCambronAuthor Facebook: Kristy-Cambron-Author.
Top customer reviews
As much as <i> The Ringmaster's Wife </i> is centered around the circle, it is even more focused on the people and humanity. From Mable Ringling to Rosamund and Colin and even Bella, we see the circus through their eyes. Every person in this book is memorable and fleshed out, even the minor charcters.
And I am impressed that Kristy Cambron can switch so completely and proficiently between WW2 and the roaring twenties.
This is a must read and one of the best books I've read this year
I could not put this story down. Work was neglected, household chores weren’t even a figment of a thought and all I could do was turn page after intriguing page. The language drew me into the story with a tender hand hold and wouldn’t let me go. The characters wrapped their way around my heart and whispered their story with command and grace. The description, oh the description that took me into the Big Top and into the world of a circus from an exciting and frightening decade of change.
A few paltry words of my own are a pitiful attempt to say what all I loved and why I couldn’t dare stop reading. The moments in between were long and filled with thoughts of revisiting this circus, to find out what would happen with beloved Rosamund and Colin, John and Mable.
A circus story of yesteryear with so, so much more to offer the reader. But ultimately a tale that will twine it’s way around your heart and refuse to part. An absolute favorite.
The chunk of the story was more about Rosamund and her bravery and dedication to leaving her life and family behind in England to embrace a new world in America. She finds a lot of challenges but she finds her potential.
I felt that Mabel was given a small part to the story, I wish there was more written about her and her relationship with John. If the book was just written about them, it would've been perfect! What was written, was very well thought out. You see young a woman from a farm family in Ohio with big dreams chasing them. Mabel is someone I would've loved to have met and friended. Mabel was my favorite character in this entire book.
The only thing that confuses me about this book is the title.
When I read Ringmaster's Wife, I thought it would be about the wife of the Ringmaster. But it wasn't. The title doesn't have any bearing on the story, in fact, I find it misleading. John Ringling wasn't a Ringmaster, neither was Clay. This why I gave the book four stars. This book could've been written into a series and the characters drawn out more, and it would've still been good!
by Kristy Cambron
Mable Burton grew up in the late 1800s in rural Ohio. She always longed for a glamorous life away from the farm, but kept her dreams in the cigar box under her bed for years. When she learned of the Chicago World's Fair, she ran away from home to pursue her dreams. Yet instead of doing something marvelous like she'd always planned, she wound up working in restaurants and chasing her friend Sally, who was a singer, around the east coast. When a mysterious and wealthy man who would only tell her his name was John asked her to take a walk with him, she found herself falling in love. He disappeared and she didn't see him for another ten years on a sad night when she walked along the board walk alone. He revealed to her that his last name was Ringling, and that he was one of the owners of The Ringling Brother's traveling circus. When he asked her to marry him, Mable accepted, and ran away with him to travel with him and his circus.
Now, in the late 1920s, Lady Rosamund Easling finds herself being forced into a marriage she doesn't want, while simultaneously being separated from her beloved horse, given to her by her brother shortly before he was killed in WWI. When two men that work for The Ringling Brother's circus come to purchase Ingénue, she finds her heart breaking. At the last minute, she decides to leave her home and go with the circus to America to help them train Ingénue with plans to return to England just in time to marry. Yet when she takes this great leap of fate, she finds herself sucked into the bizarre world in which she finds herself and joins the circus. Things won't be easy for the daughter of an earl in the cutthroat world of the circus, but the trials she faces might be worth it to a part of the greatest show on earth!
I was excited about this book when I heard about it. I love the 1920s, and a novel about two women leaving all they've known behind to join the circus sounds so charming. For who hasn't thought of running away from home to chase a dream? This book definitely lived up to my expectations. True, it may have had a bit of a slow start, but once the story gets going, it flies. As I read the performance scenes, I could almost smell the popcorn and earth and hear the crowd cheering as the trick horses ran by and the acrobats flew under the Big Top. And the wonderment level is only elevated by the time in which the story takes place. The late 1920s were such a lively time and is the perfect setting for a novel about the circus, when traveling shows were at their most thrilling.
It's interesting to see where Mable and Rosamund's stories overlap and connect. The two women come from very different backgrounds, yet they still have quite a lot in common. Mable grew up on a farm with little money and few luxuries, while Rosamund was pampered at Easling Park, with anything that she wanted at her fingertips. And still the two both wind up as part of The Ringling Brother's circus, in very different ways, for the rest of their lives. And the men in their lives come from very different backgrounds, yet are similar in that they are supportive of Mable and Rosamund. It's nice to read about husbands that challenge their wives to dream.
All in all, The Ringmaster's Wife is a lovely novel that any fan of historical fiction would enjoy.
I give this book a 5 out of 5.
The details and work behind the traveling circus are completely taken for granted by the general public. However, once you read this historical fiction account, you will want to discover all you can about the Big Top in this time period. What a well-oiled machine the circus was! And, the hundreds and hundreds of people it took to work together. The details are fascinating.
With that being said, this story includes wonderful, in-depth circus characters. It is more than one beautiful love story. It is a reading pleasure. I highly recommend it.