Title: The Ringmaster’s Wife
Author: Kristy Cambron
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Narrator: Amy Rubinate
Published: June 2016
Series: Jazz Age Entertainers Series, Book 1
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction
Length: 9 hours 54 minutes. Unabridged.
About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)
An ounce of courage. A 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, 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 boards a ship to America as a last adventure before her arranged marriage. There, the twenties are roaring, and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties. 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, choosing instead 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 Thoughts on the Book:
This is a book to savor. It is beautifully written with lovely turns of phrase and vivid multisensory historical detail. The novel tells not one love story, but multiple interwoven stories, and the telling is all the richer for it. Mabel and John Ringling’s story is beautiful, as told, if a bit bittersweet. And Rosamund and Colin’s story, feels both realistic and emotionally charged. The characters are complex and sympathetic, and I love how each character has his or her own story to work through, as well as their shared moments where stories intersect. There are definitely some suspenseful moments, but those elements take a back seat to the character development and the romance.
Highly recommended to fans of literary fiction, romance, and those with a historical interest in the circus. I’ve enjoyed this author’s earlier books and I’m very much looking forward to reading the sister book to this one, The Illusionist’s Apprentice.
Specific to the Audio Edition:
The narrator’s pleasant reading of this audiobook does justice to a beautifully written story. Accents, character voices, and emotions are all handled well, resulting in an enjoyable listening experience.
I borrowed this audiobook from my local library via Hoopla. I was not expected to write a review, but wanted to share how much I enjoyed the book.