The Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern
Published: September 13, 2011
Genres: Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance
Format: eBook (387 pages)
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...
The Night Circus is storytelling at its best. Right from page one, the circus is brought to life by talking to you, the reader, as if you were actually there.
“What kind of circus is only open at night?” people ask. … You are amongst them, of course. Your curiosity got the better of you….
-Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus pg 3
Nothing in this story was random – not even the objects on the desk. Everything meant something in this complex story and it was a joy to watch it all come together in such great ways. The dialogue is funny and witty which reminded me of Downton Abbey since they are set in similar time periods. I absolutely loved the writing. There is such gorgeous and vivid imagery. And I found this character description particularly charming:
August turns out to be a pleasant, heavyset fellow and Bailey’s first impression is that he resembles his house: a squat sort of building with a porch wrapping around the front, warm and welcoming.
-Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus pg 332
The romance in this book was exquisite. The girl is abused. The boy is neglected. One is taught by experience and the other by books. I loved watching how they connect. They balance each other in a way that makes them be so much more when they are together than when they are apart. This is a story about how love is more powerful than fighting. The circus becomes an amazing symbol of their love. The ending was so perfect. There was love and loss – anything else would have been a crime against the story.
I loved the twist on magic. It was mystical, dreamlike, and mysterious but at the same time there was a feeling that magic could be learned by everyone if you could really see the world without judgement. And the reason that magic has slowly disappeared is because there are no more secrets anymore. The idea of the magic contained in secrets made me think about if The Night Circus had a modern setting, it wouldn’t have had the same mystery and thrill to it. The existence of twitter alone would have completely ruined the excitement and magic of the circus. It made me realize that there really is magic in secrets.
The characters were a delight. I loved the stage magician that could do real magic. There’s a boy that runs away to the circus and somehow it’s not cliche. And that same boy dreams of being a princess in a fairy tale that gets whisked away from his problems. I found that so completely endearing. I wanted to be one of the reveurs that follow the circus like addicted fangirls.
Overall, this was a magical and unique love story that delighted me from start to finish.
Content Rating: Medium, for one use of strong language and a few scattered uses of other swearing. One suggestive scene that is not graphic.