Love in the Elephant Tent: How Running Away with the Circus Brought Me Home

Cremonesi, Kathleen

  • If you live life without a net, what happens when you fall?

    Kathleen Cremonesi knew early on she wanted to be different. Determined to avoid following in her mother’s footsteps to an ill-fated marriage, Kathleen left Oregon in her early 20s to travel across Europe. On a whim, this former administrative assistant with wanderlust took a job as a dancer in an Italian circus and, working her way up, became an ostrich-riding, shark-taming showgirl.

    Kathleen bonds with the exotic animals that could strike and kill at any moment, but instead bring her a peace she has never known. And when she stumbles into the arms of Stefano, the sexy elephant keeper, she finds a man who understands her wild spirit.

    With thrilling prose and vivid descriptions, Kathleen takes the reader around the Mediterranean, where she discovers unexpected friends and learns how to cook, forgive, and love — across language barriers.

    Also available as an audiobook!

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  • Kathleen Cremonesi now lives near Eugene, Oregon, with her husband and a family of cats and dogs. She had the honour of volunteering at a Thai elephant sanctuary that she still supports with charitable contributions. This is her first book.

  • Published: May 2015

    ISBN: 9781770412521

    Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.

    Pages: 400


“Kathleen’s journey toward self-discovery is enthralling . . . the descriptions of life in the circus, the animals, and the spectacle put on every night vividly take readers into the experience.” — Publishers Weekly

Love in the Elephant Tent is a perfect coming-of-age memoir filled with beautiful scenic descriptions, fascinating adventures, and an emotional journey through the human heart that will have you engrossed until the very last page.” — A Cup of Tea with that Book, Please

“If you love the circus, you will love this memoir. If you hate this circus, you will still love this memoir. . . Her writing voice is as interesting and rich as the experiences she shares in the book. She may have found love in the elephant tent; I found a fascinating woman in the pages of a book.” — Bibliotica

“This is definitely a good read. It depicts the trials and tribulations of having a romance while trying to live such a nomadic lifestyle. . . I found it hard to believe that this was a real story as it would make a perfectly interesting fiction book. The only way I truly believed this was indeed a memoir was though the wonderful pictures the book contained.” — Caffeine and Books

“A memoir, but far from just presenting the facts. I’d call it a true adventure book! I truly, honestly and really loved this book. And would recommend it with my whole heart!” — Book Bug

"It is quite a treat to read such a richly descriptive book, with so many honest insights into characters and thoughts. [Cremonesi] touches on so many issues that we are all, at some stage, coming to terms with." — Blue Wolf Reviews

“Cremonesi’s memoir will captivate readers as she embarks on this unexpected adventure. But there is also much here to think about as she reveals the sobering reality of circus life: the mistreatment of animals and workers.” — Booklist

“Who hasn’t dreamed of running away to join the circus? No doubt your giftee has, and Love in the Elephant Tent by Kathleen Cremonesi is the right book to wrap.” — Q Salt Lake

“I could actually see everything she described in my mind’s eye; her vivid descriptions are there to give readers a wonderful reading experience throughout the rest of the book. . . I absolutely recommend this book to circus fans, romance novel junkies, and just about everyone who loves animals.” — Reader’s Favorite

“Cremonesi’s memoir is saturated with descriptive language and emotion . . . Readers looking for stories of self-discovery, as well as fans of Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants (2006), will enjoy this title.” — Booklist

“One of the most invigorating descriptions of backstage life that I have ever read . . . Whatever your views on circus animals, Cremonesi’s experiences will definitely provide food for thought. Her book is recommended reading for anyone who wants to know what life in the circus is really like.” — Blasting News

“This was such a fantastic book. Whatever preconceived notions you may have about memoirs, just let them go. Cremonesi’s book is nothing like any memoir I have ever read. Usually reading memoirs is like slogging through muddy marshes, but this one grabbed me from the beginning. It reads like a novel, thanks to Cremonesi’s incredible story-telling skills. . . If you’ve enjoyed reading memoirs in the past, or have any particular affinity for coming-of-age adventure type stories, then I highly recommend this book. Honestly, I think there must be very few people who would be unable to enjoy it at least in some capacity." — Fictional Read World

“If you love memoirs and travel writing, then Love in the Elephant Tent is a great book to put on your reading list for the summer.” — The Book Binder’s Daughter

“This story is strong with ethical vs emotional content. Having both the circus and Europe as backdrops fills this memoir with many layers . . . I loved getting a backstage view of this unique lifestyle.” — Always Packed for Adventure

Love in the Elephant Tent: How Running Away with the Circus Brought Me Home mingles a charming love story with interludes of grubby reality concerning circus life and the care of large animals.” — New Zealand Listener

“Overall an amazing read. I have had a dramatic change of heart on memoirs, and all because of Love in the Elephant Tent.” — Top of the Bookshelf

“Brave and heartfelt, this book is an inspiration if you’re looking for a push to take your own walk on the wild side. Lots of fun!” — Family Circle Magazine