July 6, 2016

The Ringmaster's Wife by Kristy Cambron | My Review

I think I have maybe gone to the circus once in my life. But now thanks to the genius of Kristy Cambron I not only got to visit it again but see it at its true heyday at the picturesque turn of the century. The Ringmaster's Wife is a fictionalized tale of John Ringling's wife Mable. One that, from both the Author's Notes as well as where my insatiable curiousty took me through the web, enormously honored the great woman behind the owner of one of the greatest shows on this earth. Which yes I know is a phrase coined for the Barnum & Bailey Circus, but it still fits.
Historical fiction woven so artfully as this offering from Cambron not only takes the reader behind the scenes of a swiftly changing time in America's history and the origin years of this great circus--but it also honors the memory of a very special woman. Alongside Mable's part-fictional, part-very real story is the entirely fictional Rosamund Easling--a British titled lady who aches to escape the confines of societal expectations and ride her exceptional Arabian horse Ingenue bareback, as a trick rider. And in walks American Colin Keary--the Ringlings' talent manager who was only in the market for a beautiful Arabian and did not bargain on signing two talents on his one trip across the Atlantic, but as fate would have it, he did. To the delight of audiences, disconcertment of one hoity toity Bella Rossi--and Colin's own increased intrigue and care in spite of himself--the soon-dubbed English Rose makes a lasting impression. Both in the story and to me, the reader. I so enjoyed getting to know both Mable Ringling and Rosamund Easling within this touching, sparkling story. The scenes where both these characters had a scene together were my favorite. The ending was surprising to me and for the genre as Cambron painted a few strands of the bittersweet into somewhat of an open ending but it was thoroughly, wonderfully fitting and so well done.
Cambron is a new favorite author of mine, and now I am aching to get to her Hidden Masterpiece series set in WWII. Her background in art shines through every word in such a manner that I've never read before. Unparalleled artistry and masterful storytelling of the golden years of the circus make The Ringmaster's Wife one of my top reads of 2016, not soon forgotten.
**Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion from the publisher via Litfuse Publicity Groupand was in no way compensated for my review and all opinions within are my own. ** 



About the Book:

What is revealed when you draw back the curtain of the Greatest Show on Earth?

Rosamund Easling is no stranger to opulence. As the daughter of an earl, she’s grown up with every comfort money can buy. But when hard times befall the family’s Yorkshire estate in the aftermath of the Great War, Rosamund’s father sells her beloved horse, setting the stage for a series of events that would extend beyond even her wildest dreams.
Though expected to marry for a title instead of love, Rosamund feels called to a different life – one of adventure outside the confines of a ladies’ parlor. She abandons all she’s known and follows in pursuit as her horse is shipped to the new owner – an American entertainer by the name of John Ringling. Once introduced to the Ringling Brothers’ circus and knowing she has much to learn, Rosamund agrees to a bareback riding apprenticeship in the shadow of the Ringlings’ winter home—Ca’D’Zan. It is at that mansion, in what would become the last days of the enigmatic Mable Ringling’s life, that Rosamund finds a deeper sense of purpose in the life she’s been given, and the awakening of faith in her heart.

With a supporting cast of characters as mysterious and dazzling as the Ringlings’ big-top world, Rosamund’s journey takes her from the tradition of the English countryside to the last days of America’s Roaring ‘20s—a journey that forever changes what one life might have been.

About the Author: Who I just adore. Having never read her before this novel, I had connected with her via mutual friends/books on social media and she reached out to me as I was celebrating my novel's 2nd birthday with such encouragement, kindness and advice. I will never forget her kindness and hope one day perhaps at ACFW (the dream conference) to meet and grab a latte with this awesome author.

Kristy Cambron fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her debut novel, THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN, was named to Library Journal Reviews and RT Reviewers' Choice Awards Best of 2014 lists, and received a 2015 INSPY Awards nomination for best debut novel. Her second novel, A SPARROW IN TEREZIN, was named to Library Journal Reviews Best of 2015 list, and received a nomination for RT Reviewers' Choice Awards Best Inspirational Book of 2015. Kristy's third historical novel, THE RINGMASTER'S WIFE, will release from HarperCollins Christian Publishing in June, 2016.

Kristy is a Speaker and Art/Design Manager at TheGROVEstory.com, and holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.
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