Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel, The Night Circus, readers are swept away into a whimsical world of mystery, beauty, grace, love and magic. It transports you into a time and place that probably have only appeared in your dreams. It makes you want to return to your childhood so that you can believe, once again, in the power of magic. And it keeps you reading, hour after hour, page after page, because the book is so good you just want to devour it.
Folks, this is not Water for Elephants, though that was a great book, too. This book is so masterfully written, evoking images and sensations – yes SENSATIONS….like sounds, tastes, smells – and emotions, that I simply could not put it down. It, in and of itself, was MAGICAL. I made excuses to read it – I hid it under my desk at work…..I wanted to devour it. I cannot believe that this is Morgenstern’s first novel!
Enchanting us with the black and white tents of Le Cirque des Reves, a circus that arrives and departs without warning and is only open from sundown to sunrise, Morgenstern introduces us to riveting characters with incredible lives. We are introduced to Marco and Celia, the two protagonists of the novel, as children – both being raised as participants in a “game.”
As the game evolves and the two children mature, in addition to the story of the circus itself, we witness the evolution of romance. Marco and Celia, Bailey and Poppet, and a slew of other additional, but no less significant characters. And, as you turn each page and are drawn further into their growing romance, it’s almost as though you are physically experiencing the circus.
One of my favorite things about books, or rather – GOOD BOOKS – is the ability to get completely swept away. To feel as though I’ve actually become part of the book, rather than a spectator of it. I like to be able to close my eyes and not just see the scene unfold before my eye, I like to feel it. The style in which Morgenstern has written this stunning piece of literature allowed me to do just that. I felt, at each line of the book, that I was living within Le Cirque des Reves. I ate the carmel apples and tasted the cocoa. I heard the music, felt the chill of the winter garden and rode the incredible mechanism-less carousel with living creatures. At times, I felt as though I’d become the two young illusionists or the clock-maker. I felt the satin gowns and saw the fireworks. I became a character – even if only in my own mind.
This is a must read for anyone who appreciates excellence: the prose is beautiful, the structure is captivating, the romance is thoughtful, gentle and plausible.
ERIN MORGENSTERN: PLEASE DON’T MAKE US WAIT FOR YOUR SECOND BOOK!
Character Development: A++++
- How I Wrote It: Erin Morgenstern + NaNoWriMo = “The Night Circus” (omnivoracious.com)