cover image The Ringmaster’s Wife

The Ringmaster’s Wife

Kristy Cambron. Thomas Nelson, $15.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-71804-154-0

Cambron (The Butterfly and the Violin) seesaws between story lines and time periods in her latest novel. Fleshing out the life of the enigmatic Mable Ringling (wife of American circus entrepreneur John Ringling, of Ringling Bros. fame), Cambron fictionalizes a great deal, including how the couple met, while sprinkling in some historical facts. In the second thread, Lady Rosamund Easling’s prized Arabian horse is purchased by the circus, and she leaves England and a prospective suitor to follow the animal to America. Mable and Rosamund have a few brief encounters, but primarily these are two separate stories of strong and determined women who boldly leave their pasts in search of fulfillment. Both end up in the shadow of the big top, but with much different perspectives. Cambron vividly depicts circus life during the 1920s, when the vast menagerie moved in 100-car trains and the Ringlings were establishing themselves in Sarasota, Fla., society. With a strong supporting cast of friends and family—including a nemesis or two—the women experience heartbreak, loss, hope, and triumph, all set against the colorful backdrop of the “greatest show on Earth.” Agent: Rachelle Gardner, Books & Such Literary. (June)