The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
My rating: 4 stars
Overview from Goodreads: The circus arrives
without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when
yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is
an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is
called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between
two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since
childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors.
Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left
standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of
imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco
tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights
flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone
involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the
patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring
This was a pick for my book club a couple months back and while it sounded good, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it. At first I found it easy to put down, but about halfway through I finished it in one sitting and it flew by for me! (That's also when all the different storylines started to intertwine which was pretty cool to see happen).
I was worried the competition was going to be similar to the competition in The Hunger Games and while I'm all for action, I wasn't crazy about those books.
However, the competition aspect was completely different - it was about
skill and talent, and creating beautiful magical elements and a story that played
into the night circus itself.
When I finished the book I was like "yeah, I liked it," but the more time I spent away from it, the more the story sunk in, and I couldn't stop thinking about it.
The writing is wonderful - and it was so easy to get swept up in the magic of the story.
The past stays on you the way powdered sugar stays on
your fingers. Some people can get rid of it but it's still there, the
events and things that pushed you to where you are now. (263)
You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes
their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive
them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your
words. That is your role, your gift. (505)
I really enjoyed this book - I've been recommending it to everyone since I finished it - and it's even serving as the inspiration for some 30th birthday activities this fall! (More on that later!)
I'll leave you with one last quote:
It is these aficionados, these reveurs, who see the details in the
bigger picture of the circus...They are enthusiasts, devotees. Addicts.
Something about the circus sitrs their souls, and they ache for it when
it is absent. (184)
Have you read The Night Circus? Do you consider yourself a reveur? What was the last book where the story stayed with you after you finished reading it?