The Ringmaster's Wife

An ounce of courage.
A 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, 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 boards a ship to America as a last adventure before her arranged marriage. There, the twenties are roaring, and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties. 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, choosing instead 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!

“Vibrant with the glamour and awe that flourished under the Big Top in the 1920s, The Ringmaster’s Wife invites the reader [into] the Greatest Show on Earth.” —Joanne Bischof, award-winning author of The Lady and the Lionheart

What was in the box?

This box shipped in September of 2016. The first year of boxes focused mainly on historical fiction novels.

As Book Clubbers read this title, they opened their gifts to find a vintage inspired cigar box, a custom pocket watch necklace, an oversized hair pin and thimble, a note addressed to The English Rose, a custom drawn poster exclusive to our boxes, and a bonus snack of Cracker Jacks to get into the circus headspace while reading!

Our team loved the opportunity to bring a circus-themed novel to life. The whimsy of the setting was really helpful in assisting our team when designing the gift wrap, as we always try to match the wrapping paper to the reading experience.

Discussion Questions

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1. Lady Rosamund Easling was born into a family heritage of wealth and opportunity. Mable Burton wasn't born with such advantages, but found them later in life. Though these two women began their journeys in different places, both shared a longing for something more-the courage to step out and live the life they imagined. How would their lives have been different if Rosamund and Mable hadn't been willing to risk everything in order to pursue their calling? Would Rosamund have stayed with the circus, if Mable hadn't been a mentor in her life?

2. The Circus welcomed an eclectic mix of performers from varying ethnic and cultural backgrounds. This was eye-opening to Rosamund, whose relatively sheltered life was dramatically changed when she became a part of the Ringling Brothers' circus. How does Rosamund's view of the world change through her first years as a performer?

3. Despite finding his niche as an agent for the circus, Colin Keary carried a pocket watch from his youth - a constant reminder that he was attempting to outrun the brokenness of his past. How can past brokenness affect our decision making in the future? Would Colin have let go of his past and hoped for a future with Rosamund if Mable hadn't urged him to do so?

4. For all of the happiness John and Mable Ringling enjoyed in their life together, they had to overcome numerous obstacles. How did their shared interests, love, and faith in each other allow them to weather the difficulties of their marriage?

5. Rosamund's journey begins with her pursuit of a calling outside her family's strict expectations for her life. Though she did eventually find love with Colin, the journey wasn't without loss-she never fully regained her sight. When an unforseen experience changes our expectations about life, can we still find contentment in new circumstances? How did Rosamund and Colin move on from the great losses in their lives?

Meet Author Kristy Cambron