This has got to be one of the hardest book reviews I will ever have to write. Why you may ask? This is my favourite book in the world, so why I may also be biased I also become speechless when people ask me that question. Why do you love it so much? Well hopefully I can tell you why below.
Let me introduce you to ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern.
Like the circus this book appeared without warning and stole my heart from beneath me.
There’s two parts of the narrative to follow. One is the main story. The other is you making your own way through the circus. They combine together perfectly and connect the narrative to the tents you are viewing. Sometimes when I need that quick night circus fix I read the parts of the reader experiencing the circus so I can see it’s magic one more time.
Along the main story we meet a variety of characters perspectives and the timeline/location moves back and forth. It may be a bit chaotic at first but once you get the flow of the story you start to understand how events and characters are behaving due to the timeline of the story and past events. It is also clever in foreshadowing whats to come without you even knowing.
It’s why I was so keen to revisit this book. It kept opening new doors and I still got the magical feel I got when I first opened its pages.
Plot wise you may ask? It is a game, of magic. Now a lot of people I know who don’t really like fantasy pull a face when I say this. But this isn’t a world of wizards, dragons and fairy tales. It has more of a twist to it than that. It involves two people who are testing their skills, I want to say like chess however the book blatantly says this is not so. So to try and narrow it down, it is to see who is the strongest but using the circus as the venue. A circus where they create real life dreams. But alas such a public venue can lead to unforeseen events…
“But dreams have a way of turning into nightmares.”
When I first got my hands on the book, well, even I was a bit skeptical. I was in a reading rut and my mum told me I would love it. Telling her I’d try it just to shut her up was the best thing I could’ve done. I don’t know what I would do without this circus.
I became so involved with every part of this book. I stayed in my room the entire time I was reading it unable to put it down, each page an exploration of another tent, character or insight to pull me in deeper. One point I remember exactly, my mum called me out for dinner and I remember feeling shaken like I had been pulled out from an intense daze. That’s why one quote stayed with me long after I finished, and I think perfect sums up my reading experience and the circus all in one;
“You think, as you walk away from Le Cirque des Reves and into the creeping dawn, that you felt more awake within the confines of the circus. You are no longer quite certain which side of the fence is the dream.“
I would like so very much so for life to be the dream so I could return back to the circus any time I please.
It may take many times of reading this book to find all the hidden gems but even if we did not find out all the secrets. Or if we choose to stay in just one tent. We do not have to know everything to gain enjoyment. As Friedrick Thiessen said best;
“…I do not wish to know, I prefer to remain unenlightened, to better appreciate the dark.”
The black and white of the circus hides the true colour beneath it all. But appreciating the dark can bring about a whole colourful and rich world. This is the circus of dreams. Of love. Of control of ones destiny. This book is my favourite for all of these reasons. You may disagree but to me the circus will be one I will happily revisit over and over and over again.
So I am very glad I decided to read this book because lets face it;
“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones”
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So that review got deep fast and I basically just slammed you in the face with I LOVE THIS BOOK READ IT. But all in all I hope you all give it a read! Plus let me know if it was a hit or miss in your books, start a discussion!
If you‘ve read it let me know what you think! If not, will you give it a try?
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