Book summary (from Goodreads): 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, Rosamund feels called to a different life – one of adventure outside the confines of a ladies’ parlor. She abandons all she’s known and follows in pursuit as her horse is shipped to the new owner – an American entertainer by the name of John Ringling. Once introduced to the Ringling Brothers’ circus and knowing she has much to learn, Rosamund agrees to a bareback riding apprenticeship in the shadow of the Ringlings’ winter home—Ca’D’Zan. It is at that mansion, in what would become the last days of the enigmatic Mable Ringling’s life, that Rosamund finds a deeper sense of purpose in the life she’s been given, and the awakening of faith in her heart.
With a supporting cast of characters as mysterious and dazzling as the Ringlings’ big-top world, Rosamund’s journey takes her from the tradition of the English countryside to the last days of America’s Roaring ‘20s—a journey that forever changes what one life might have been.
My thoughts: Things that initially caught my attention when I requested to read this book were the cover (beautiful!), the author (love her previous books), and the title. Not knowing much about the history behind the circus, I was intrigued.
One of the strengths of this novel is Kristy Cambron's ability to intertwine two, what seem to be unrelated, storylines and create a beautiful connection of life, faith, and perseverance. I enjoyed seeing how the story began to unfold and how the characters impacted each others' lives. The detailed descriptions of the locations made me feel like I was right there with the characters in the story, from walking through the Ca'D'Zan to exploring behind the circus tents. The faith of the characters and how it helps them grow and overcome adversity is also a central theme in the story. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
"This building up of what we want doesn't have to be a tearing down of who we are. It's the worst kind of extravagance to think we're above adversity. Isn't that what God calls of us, to acknowledge that we are moving with this undercurrent of something that is always at work around us? Something bigger than we could ever be as just one person?" -Mabel
"They all had one thing in common: to have faith that when one has no control, there is One who does."
Reading this story to completion helped me to appreciate all the aspects of how the story came together, but when I began reading I had a hard time making the connections between the two storylines. I honestly wanted more of John and Mabel's story, as she was the actual ringmaster's wife. I realize that she impacted the lives of all who were in the story, but I wanted more details behind the love that she and John shared.
This is definitely a well-written novel, and would recommend it.
**I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review, which I gave.**