The Night Circus

This is a beautiful book.

It was recommended to me by my friend, Valerie, several times before I finally had the opportunity to read it. I was hunting through the hell scape of San Diego’s BookOff, which has an astonishing amount of “trash lit” and anime in relation to books I actually want to read. I found a handful of books that I deemed worthy, and had searched the shelves thoroughly for “The Night Circus” before giving up and heading to the cash register. I had four books for about twelve dollars, and was pretty pleased with myself.

Josh was loitering at the end of the historical aisle as I finished. He tugged at his beard, juggling a thick text about “alternate history timelines in the middle ages, what might have been, ya know” and “this one on Plato, a bunch of his ramblings”. I headed toward the door, hoping to urge my beloved toward a decision when I spotted it! “The Night Circus” had been placed, bizarrely, right beside the front door with travel books. All alone, the only copy… Mine!

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“The Night Circus” is whimsical. From the first sentence, “The circus arrives without warning,” I was enthralled. Told from several perspectives the story follows a duel between two illusionists and the  circus that serves as their venue. While there is romance, I appreciate that this is only an element, and not the focus of the story. In fact, the duel is not the full focus of the story either. If anything, this book is really about the breathing, animated life of the circus: it’s birth, it’s triumphs, and it’s own experiences with the characters. The reader comes to know the circus much more intimately than any of the characters, none of which are as deeply explored.

“The Night Circus” is endlessly imaginative and enchanting, a gentle escapism, if you will. I adore it, and I look forward to following any creative endeavors by Erin Morgenstern in the future!

Five stars!

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