Blog Tour: The Ringmaster’s Daughter by Carly Schabowski

July 7, 2020 Book review 0 ★★★½

Who could resist that gorgeous cover, and the lure of a circus setting in war time Paris. Not me. I’m grateful to Bookoture for allowing me to join the blog tour for The Ringmaster’s Daughter by Carly Schabowski.

Thanks to Bookouture for giving me for giving me a copy of this book for review consideration. As always, no matter what the source of the book, you get my honest, unbiased opinion.

Blog Tour: The Ringmaster’s Daughter by Carly SchabowskiThe Ringmaster's Daughter by Carly Schabowski
Published by Bookouture on July 7, 2020
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 342
Buy on Amazon

Circus people don't ask who you were before, or what god you believe in… when you join the circus, you are family, whatever your past.

Paris, 1940. Twenty-year-old Michel Bonnet lives on the edge of the law, finding work where he can breaking in horses on the outskirts of the city. But when the Nazis invade, Michel takes refuge as a stowaway on a rickety train bound for the rural south. It’s a journey that will change his life forever.

The train is property of Le Cirque Neumann – a travelling circus owned by the troubled and irritable showman Werner Neumann. Neumann offers Michel a job caring for the company’s horses – a lucky break, but with an unusual condition attached. Michel must keep to himself and never speak of what he sees behind the glittering curtain of the big top.

But as Michel finds himself pulled into the strange and wondrous world of the great spectacular it becomes more difficult to keep his promise. Why does the man with the performing monkey never speak, and the sword swallower turn his face away? Who are the silent, shadowy figures who flit like moths between the wagons when the sun is down? It’s clear that Neumann is keeping his performers hidden away… but why? And how can Michel win the love of the beautiful and exotic trapeze artist Freida – the graceful, green-eyed star of Neuman’s spectacular – when he’s been forbidden to even meet her gaze?

An emotional and uplifting wartime novel – perfect for fans of Water for Elephants, The Nightingale and The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

First Line of The Ringmaster’s Daughter by Carly Schabowski

“The streets of Paris wound their way around Michel Bonnet as he walked to his small apartment in the 14th arrondissement.”

My Thoughts on The Ringmaster’s Daughter:

I thought this was such a unique mixture of settings – Paris, World War 2, forbidden love and the circus – and it all added up to a very magical read.

Michel at the start of book is young, impulsive, and a bit naive. I loved his growth during the book, as when tough times hit he grew up fast. France during WW2 was full of atrocities, but the friendship and bravery that lurked around every corner, made this book an uplifting and emotional read.

And the forbidden love angle sucked me right in. I read anxiously with dread in my heart as they are a couple that I was rooting for from their very first meeting. I actually felt like that about so many of the characters, they are misfits, and I love how they all came together and were each others family.

This is a book that I read with my heart and I felt all the emotions as I read it. There is just something about love and war that makes for a timeless theme, and the circus element just adds so much originality, and that little bit of magic.

#TheRingmastersDaughter by @carlyschab11 has a unique mixture of settings – Paris, World War 2, forbidden love and the circus and I really enjoyed reading it. @bookouture #bookreview Click To Tweet

There were a couple of things that niggled me though. The title is a huge spoiler, and in my opinion I’d rather have found this out organically as I read. And there was a change from third person to first person perspective towards the end of the book. I found this a bit jarring, and I don’t understand the need for it.

Overall though I thought this was a good read and despite my niggles I did thoroughly enjoy it.

Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-half-stars

Who should read The Ringmaster’s Daughter?

I’d recommend this to you if you like WW2 settings, emotional reads and books about forbidden love.

About Carly Schabowski

Carly Schabowski worked as a journalist in both North Cyprus and Australia before returning to Oxford, where she studied for an MA and then a PhD in creative writing at Oxford Brookes University. Carly now teaches at Oxford Brookes University as an associate lecturer in Creative Writing for first and second-year English literature students.


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