There is nothing more magical to a child, and many adults I’m sure, as the circus. I have been several times, and it never fails to thrill and amaze me. I’m the kind of person who likes to try to see behind the scenes. I like to try to watch the props change and the performers as they prepare their acts. But inevitably my attention is drawn away by something happening elsewhere and I don’t see the changes. I guess that’s what makes it so magical. That’s one of the reasons that I loved The Ringmaster’s Wife so much. It’s an in-depth look at what happens (or at least what used to happen in the ‘20s) behind the scenes of “the greatest show on earth.”
This book is really two stories, that come together to form one in the end. Part of the story is centered on Mable Ringling, and her marriage to and life with John Ringling, one of the founders of the Ringling Brothers Circus. Mable is a kind woman, who never fails to reach out and touch the lives of those around her. One of the lives she touches is that of Rosamund Easling. Rosamund’s father sold her beautiful horse to the circus, and instead of letting him go, Rosamund traveled with him and took a job as a trick rider. She has much to learn along the way about life, love and finding her place in the world. She is under the care of Colin Keary, the man who runs the day-to-day operations of the circus. Just when she thinks she’s ready to give her heart to him, she suffers a tragic accident that may steal everything she’s worked for. Through Mable’s kindness and encouragement, she can find the way back to life and her dreams again.
This book was so beautifully written. This is the first book by Kristy Cambron that I have read, but I know it won’t be the last. She whets your appetite in the prologue, so that you have a little idea what’s going to happen, but the journey is beautiful and intriguing. It’s really a wonderful story. The characters were well-written, and believable, which I think can be more difficult when they’re based on real people. I loved the descriptions given of the animals and the big top, as well as the Ringling’s beautiful estate the Ca’D’Zan. It was so fun to see it all through Rosamund’s eyes, as she saw and learned it for the first time, too. Mable and John Ringling’s story was so sweet, and I did like Rosamund’s character, but Colin was my favorite. I loved imagining his Irish accent, and the way he watched out for Rosamund and took care of her was so sweet. My only issue with the book is the fact that I never read where either John Ringling or Colin Keary was called the ringmaster. I guess technically Mable was the title character, but I can’t be sure.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking for something a little different from the ordinary love story. If you’re even a little fan of the circus, you’re sure to love it, too. This one gets two thumbs up from me!
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own, and a favorable review was not required. Look for The Ringmaster’s Wife on or around June 4, or pre-order your copy now!