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The Ringmaster's Wife

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3.98  ·  Rating details ·  2,179 Ratings  ·  441 Reviews
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
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Paperback, 356 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by HarperCollins Christian Publishing
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LeAnne Parham Yes, it is obvious a lot of research went into the writing. I guess you could say it is a fiction novel based on true events. I really enjoyed it.
Mary I did not enjoy this book. The book was too descriptive abount uninteresting details. It went on and on with no action. The characters were…moreI did not enjoy this book. The book was too descriptive abount uninteresting details. It went on and on with no action. The characters were undeveloped. I would like to have learned more about John and Mable but there was very little in the book about them
I just found the book was plain boring.
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Alyssa
The Ringmaster's Wife is my favourite book from Kristy Cambron so far. And that says a lot since I was absolutely obsessed with the Hidden Masterpiece dualogy. The Ringmaster's Wife completely transports you into a simpler time known as the Jazz Age. This book is so well researched where the historical aspects are concerned. As a history buff, I appreciate that. This is a historical novel that is a must read.
Hannah
3.75

Greats:
Historical research: I loved the facts and fictionalization of John and Mable Ringling's romance. It was precious to get a sense of how deeply he loved her and how she wise she was in undergirding his efforts. (The references in the back were interesting; evidently her influence had been a stabilizing influence on his spending/earning habits also.)

Circus details: I've actually read a few period books about the circus, detailing many facts that felt familiar when reading this story. It
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Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
About this 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, Ro
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Pamela
"We only see what we want to see-in people, in love, and in life. What we see is a choice, as is what we offer the world in return. And it's only behind the costumes and the masks that we can be who we truly are."

The opening lines of Kristy Cambron's latest novel is the undercurrent of this tender and nostalgic novel. A novel that is as beautifully bittersweet and dreamy as the cover itself. And in all honesty, the cover is absolutely one of the most stunning, true-to-story composites (in every
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Laura
I thought this was a beautiful book. I don't have time to write a review to do it justice, but I truly enjoyed the characters, the dual-historical time period, the historical facts about the Ringling Brothers, the circus, and most of all I loved the inspirational theme of chasing after our dreams and adventures and living them. Kristy Cambron did a really nice job with incorporating music and art appreciation into the story line too. I looked forward to reading this book for months and was very ...more
m a r y l i z
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
*wipes tears from eyes* This was truly beautiful.

It's a book full of nostalgia and wistful memories. Like an old, beloved, well-worn story tucked away and revisited often.

It breaks and mends your heart. Reminds you that grace is a gift given to all who are willing to accept it.

It's a story about freedom and dreams. About running towards your future and embracing the impossibilities.

It's about new beginnings and seeing people as they really are--broken, flawed, yet beautiful.

"We only see what
...more
Amy
Jun 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mostly a Downton Abbey-meets-Water for Elephants tale, with a hefty dose of Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding drama thrown in, I was swept up into this backstage circus story from the opening scenes. I love how Cambron took time setting her stage, easing her heroine -- and me as the reader -- into the crazy world of the "Greatest Show on Earth." The title is a little misleading, as the true-life story of Mable Ringling takes a pronounced back seat to the fictional romance of heiress-turned-bareback-r ...more
Olivia
I'm still digesting this book a little. The first time I read this through, it was my first introduction to the author. She immediately made me want to read more of her works. I was astonished by her writing style and way with words. You can feel and imagine everything! I applaud that immensely.

This story surrounding circus life was fascinating to me. Having recently watched an old film surrounding the life of the circus, I was curious to see if this book was anything similar. And it was. Just f
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Beth
The Ringmaster's Wife is an emotion-filled story, rich with historical details, especially details of the Ringling Brothers circus amidst the glamour that was the Jazz Age. Featuring a dual timeline, and the story of two women, Mable Ringling and Lady Rosamund Easling, the novel spans the younger years of Mable's life before the circus is a part of her, up through Rosamund leaving her privileged life back in England to join the circus and the two meeting and connecting over a shared pursuit of a ...more
Emilie Hendryx
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece of emotion and evocative storytelling, The Ringmaster's Wife's weaves together the fanciful notions and glamor of the circus amidst the rich tapestry of 1920s history. A superb story with vibrant characters, the sparkle of romance, and the power of courage.

I am lost to the thrills and magic of the circus. Please, don't send help. I want to stay here forever, trapped between the pages and avoiding the reality that I can't run off to the menagerie.

From the moment I opened this book
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Amanda Geaney (Christian Shelf-Esteem)
Originally posted on Christian Shelf-Esteem {a book review blog} http://bit.ly/25lO3sA

Spanning from 1885 to 1929, Kristy Cambron’s latest title The Ringmaster’s Wife, pulls back the curtain of glamour and glitz to reveal the true nature of life under the Big Top. Readers are in for a treat as Cambron has penned a great adventure with a touch of mystery and a whole lot of heart.

In this immersive story I developed a great respect for Mabel Ringling. Her relationship and subsequent marriage to Circ
...more
Staci
Dec 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
After enjoying the Hidden Masterpieces novels, I completely looked forward to reading The Ringmaster's Wife. Unfortunately, this novel fell short for me.

What I loved about the novel is the rich history about circus life and a few other time period details. I was pleased that one of the main characters, Mable, is based upon an actual historical figure.

As with the Hidden Masterpieces novels, there are two story lines. What is different though is that the two story lines are fairly close chronologi
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ⓐⓥⓡⓔⓔ ☞ The Bookish Blonde
5+ STARS
LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF THIS STORY

You can tell an excellent book when I devour it as fast as I did this one!

I mean this one had EVERYTHING I demand out of a good book...history, great writing, no smut, vivid descriptions, fast-paced, bite-size chapters...I mean I could go on and on!

I kinda wish I could go back and experience it for the first time ALL over again! What a ride. Such lovely, well-developed characters. So many beautiful moments. *sigh*

I loved just exactly how this book was l
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BAM The Bibliomaniac
There are two circus queens in this historical novel: a bareback performer and a wife. The book splits into chapters of their stories. We begin with Mabel, a young lady from a farming town with big city aspirations. When a move to Chicago puts her in the sights of one John Ringling, her life seems likes it's just beginning.
The other half of the story involves Rosemund, the daughter of an English Earl, who is also a secret trick rider. After her prized Arabian is sold, she is lured to the States
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Bandit
Jan 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had me at circus, a topic after my own heart. I love a good circus story. I'll even settle for an average one. This was very much the latter. In fact I think had the book been on any other subject, I wouldn't care for it at all. The writing alone just doesn't hold up, it's redolent of chicklit with all its frothy chirpy bland charm straight down to the lachrymose ending. The author did well by selecting a fascinating topic, two strong female characters, real life and imaginary, and mag ...more
Emilee
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I just want to start by saying how much I love the cover of this book. It's amazing! I really like the premise for this story. I've always enjoyed circus themed books and movies. I liked how the story starts out in England then goes to the U.S. The scenes were vivid and easy to imagine but for some reason I had trouble connecting with Mabel and Rose. I kept hoping I would feel more for the characters but it just didn't happen for me that's why I gave 4 stars.
Heather Gilbert
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
History and fiction seamlessly merge in this circus tale that brings an era to life. I enjoyed the dual point of view that shares the stories of two brave women. It is nice to find such an unusual period of history covered in novel form!
Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
Impeccably researched, gorgeously presented, The Ringmaster’s Wife is my favorite book by Kristy Cambron to date. (And I have LOVED her previous books!) In fact, it’s difficult for me to form adequate words to review it because it’s still so full in my heart.

For the majority of the novel, we dance back and forth between Mable’s early life (and the beginnings of her relationship with John Ringling) and Rosamund’s early days with the circus. As the narrative progresses, Cambron weaves these timeli
...more
Andrea Cox
by Andrea Renee Cox

Memories of attending the circus as a young girl came flooding back into my mind as I read The Ringmaster's Wife. The acrobats, the ringmaster, the horses and their riders... all came to life in this book about second chances and fresh starts.

For much of the first half of the book, I was confused by the constant time jumping and multiple dates given. It was a lot to keep track of. But once that settled out some, I was able to really get intrigued by the lives of Mable Ringling
...more
Jamie
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
I’m going to start off with this: This is absolutely my favorite novel from Kristy! That was no easy task, especially since I loved her Hidden Masterpiece series, but y’all I enjoyed this so so much!!

I absolutely loved what Kristy did with this book! She brought to life such a fascinating world (which I didn’t know much about, so even better!) and the characters…you couldn’t help but become so invested. I liked how the book started out with two different times (Mabel’s early years and Rosamund’s
...more
Jerry
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great work of historical fiction, and especially timely, given that the Ringling Bros. circus just announced their performances are coming to an end.
Stefanie
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was the first book I've read by Kristy Cambron and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I loved the dual historic timeline, flipping from Mable Burton Ringling to Lady Rosamund Easling. It gave me a good background and understanding of both characters.
At times, I felt the details were a little overly extravagant for the story, taking away from the story itself and the beginning was a little slow for me, but as the story continued I fell into the magic of the circus life and felt myself drawn into the 19
...more
Brittany
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a very beautifully written novel! It was the first book that I have read by this author and I really enjoyed her writing style. For the first few chapters, I had to work very hard to keep the dual timelines and characters straight. But after getting to know the characters, it was not a problem to time hop through this dual timeline story. In fact, it kept me reading to find out what would happen next!

The pacing of the story was leisurely. It was slow, but not in a bad way. As I moved th
...more
Loraine
Focusing on the Ringling Brothers Circus, Kristy Cambron beautifully interweaves two time periods that sometimes connect and then diverge to create a fascinating read. The details regarding the circus show Cambron's definite research into the history of the Ringling Brothers Circus.

I felt the strongest characters were the women particularly Mable and Rosamund. They were both complex, dream-filled women who, although their lives were all right, weren't satisfied with the status quo. They were wi
...more
Lydia Howe
Why I Choose this Book:

I've read Kristy Cambron's other two books and really liked one of them, and was rather disappointed in the other. I figured I had a 50/50 chance on either really liking or feeling "meh" about her third book.

What I Thought About this Book:

Humm... I think I've done so much editing recently that I'm having a hard time just appreciating a book, so please keep that in mind throughout this review.

Scene by scene I enjoyed the book. There were some beautiful word pictures, the
...more
Beth Vogt
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm a fan of all of Kristy Cambron's novels, but I fell in love with Cambron's writing as I read The Ringmaster's Wife. Cambron's characters are true to life and distinct, and the emotions resonated within me. While The Ringmaster's Wife is fiction, it's evident Cambron did extensive research on the Jazz Age and world of the Ringling Brothers' Circus -- both under the Big Top and behind the scenes. I highly recommend this novel!
Dawn
Loved it! Reminded me a lot of the Disney movie, Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken.
Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
I first fell in love with the circus in literature when as a teenager I read the book "The Long Way Down" by Robb White about runaway who becomes a trapeze artist and the performers that become her family. The Ringmaster's Wife has the same sense of family, that in the midst of the enchanting and chaotic existence in the circus, relationships based on kindness and compassion are what really bring happiness and belonging. The pace of the book was somewhat slow for me, but I appreciated that since ...more
Nicole
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What an enchanting read! Kristy Cambron’s words flow like a movie, rich in detail and vivid to the imagination. This well-paced story beautifully weaves fiction through historical fact, all the while taking us on a journey through the Roaring Twenties.

Similar circus-genre novels, such as Water for Elephants and The Night Circus, paint a fairly clear picture of the hardships of circus life, but I found neither to be as immersive as The Ringmaster’s Wife. Strong descriptors and silky dialogue effo
...more
Kelsie Engen
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was ok


I picked this book up from NetGalley, thinking it sounded good based on the description. The daughter of an earl decides that the arranged marriage kind of life is not for her, and she joins the circus. Heck yeah. Strong female character, English gentry, etc. Sounded right up my alley. Unfortunately, I struggled to connect with any of these characters.

There was so much description--paragraphs and paragraphs--that in a literary book I might have enjoyed, but here just felt overdone and dragged ou
...more
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“We can’t do anything to make up for our transgressions. There must be grace to cover them—no matter what they are or how deep they run within us. Grace has to be stronger.” 4 likes
“learn was the difference between having a dream and cultivating the courage to live it out day after day.” Mable” 1 likes
More quotes…