Showing posts with label circus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label circus. Show all posts

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Fiction Book Review: The Ringmaster's Wife by Kristy Cambron

About the book: 
An ounce of courage. A split-second 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 to call her own, 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 of Yorkshire, England, boards a ship to America as a last adventure before her life is planned out for her. There, the twenties are roaring, and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties in the grandest ballrooms the country has to offer. 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, instead choosing 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 Review:
A few months ago my daughter and her two children invited me to tag along to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. I hadn't been to the circus in years. As we sat in the stands, I thought about how much practice and discipline the performers must have. When Kristy Cambron's latest novel, The Ringmaster's Wife, became available for review I was delighted to give it a read. Kristy does a beautiful job weaving history with fiction. I enjoyed the wide variety of characters and learning about life in the circus in the nineteen-twenties. The Ringling's home of  Ca d' Zan in Sarasota, Florida plays a backdrop for part of the story. What fun to read about Mabel's home and her generous heart. Without giving away anything, I want to say that I loved Rosamund's story. I am a fan of Downton Abbey. Following Rosamund's path reminded me of some of Downton's story lines in the last season, that of adventure and a new freedom for women. Kristy Cambron did an amazing job with research. I could tell she'd submerged herself into the era by the description and overall feel of the book.  If you enjoy historical fiction, the circus, or just a good story, give The Ringmaster's Wife a read. It's a book to be savored and enjoyed. I received this book in exchange for a fair review.

Purchase a copy:

About the author:
Kristy Cambron fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, was named Library Journal Reviews' "Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction)" for February 2015.

Cambron is an art/design manager at storytelling ministry. She holds a degree in art history from Indiana University and has nearly 15 years of experience in instructional design and communications for a Fortune-100 company. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good Christian fiction read.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Who's Your Ringmaster?

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Recently, I've heard people say, "That's not my circus and they aren't my monkeys."  Then whose are they? I'm pretty sure the circumstances that surround my life are mine. The question is what am doing with them?

I've been to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus a couple of times. The discipline and practice that goes into each act amazes me. The performers who swing from the trapeze bars in sync must have rehearsed for hours on end. They didn't miss a beat. Even the clowns moved in trained step.

Living a spiritual life sometimes feels like a circus act. Imagine walking the highwire, holding onto a balancing pole. You're holding steady until Satan adds the weight of worry to one end. The pole begins to dip and tugs you down. The Holy Spirit nudges and says trust your master. Whew...back in balance. A few steps later, boom...fear is hanging on the other end of the pole. No, I'm going to fall. Then I remember to pray and seek God's guidance. Back in step just a little farther to go. My footing slips. Anger tips the balance. I think on a scripture that fills my heart with peace. He's straightened my path. I'm almost to the platform. With joy, I step onto the safe surface and bow before Jesus, my Ringmaster. If I trust him, lean on him and submit to him, he'll be with me every step. Praise God for his son!