The Ringmaster’s Wife

Ringmasters wifeAuthor: Kristy Cambron

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: June 7, 2016

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Cambron strays from her WWII historical novels and it pays off with a great new story of the circus!

In the early 1900s, Mable Burton decides to leave the life she has in Ohio and journey off to Chicago to live all of the magazine clippings that she has saved in a cigar box. One day as a restaurant hostess, a mysterious well-dressed man comes in asking for a table.  Without a reservation, Mable must turn him away, but he asked for the manager.  Soon he has the best table in the restaurant and has a shocking request, he would like Mable to show him around the world’s fair in Chicago!  On the walk, Mable realizes that this man is the circus king, John Ringling.  They feel a connection, but still part ways until several years later they reunite by chance in Atlantic City just as Mable is getting ready to discard her cigar box dreams.

A few years later in England, Lady Rosamund Easling is hurrying home after participating in a trick riding competition. She accidently loses control of the automobile she is driving and sinks in the river.  Fearing that she is near death, a man on the riverbank jumps in and saves her and then has her car pulled out of the river as well.  Fearing word will get back to her father, Rosamund quickly bids the gentleman adieu and rushes home in time for an estate dinner.  Rosamund is shocked at dinner when the same man appears, whose name is Colin Keary.  When she learns that he has come to buy her horse from her father, Rosamund is beside herself with grief, as this was a gift from her brother who was killed in the Great War.  When she learns that Colin is purchasing him for the Ringling Brothers circus, Rosamund decides to leave her home and continue working with her horse.  But will she be able to return after the circus life?

Kristy Cambron’s first two novels center around concentration camps in World War II that are coupled with a story set in present day. So this story was a little bit different given the two stories are only a few years apart and the characters actually intersect each other more than once.  However, I was far from disappointed and greatly enjoyed this new book.  There was an immense amount of research that had to go into this novel given that very little is really known about Mable Burton (Ringling).

I have to say that Cambron has a way of bringing you to the setting of her novels. Just as in her two previous novels, I made the journey alongside the main characters.  I was in the stands eating cotton candy with Mable by the children.  I strolled the rose garden in Ca’ d’Zan.  She possesses such a masterful quality that I can’t help but see the sights, smell the aromas, and even feel the emotion.

There were some twists and turns that brought about different series of events that I anticipated. It reminded me of the move Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken in some ways, but it was still its own story.  I’m so happy that Kristy has started writing these wonderful stories.  She is truly one of my favorite authors.

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