Erin Morgenstern’s ‘The Night Circus’ reads like a dream. And by that I mean that the writing has such a beautiful, dreamlike quality that much of the time you spend reading it is in a reverie. The story is fresh, the characters eclectic and the writing flows like a steady stream. Most of the negative reviews around this book centers on it being too slow. I however, believe that the pace is deliberately, self-assuredly so. Moving at such a languid pace allows the reader to immerse themselves in the story and enjoy the circus.
We follow the lives of two young magicians, Celia and Marco, bred to compete with each other. The arena: Le Cirque des Reves or The Night Circus. With sights never before seen, the striped, black and white tents open only at night. And within its monochrome flaps it houses some of the most unparagoned, extraordinary and magical sights. Acrobats and contortionists doing unimaginable things with their bodies. Magic pulsing in the electrified air. Erin Morgenstern makes us a spectator in her Night Circus. Taking us from the ticket booth, all the way through the circus and back out again. Narrating everything we see and feel as we go. And between these nuggets of exploring the circus, she unfolds the story of Celia and Marco. A story of love and loss, ego and ambition. Every single character is fleshed out and given an appropriate arc. They have a beginning, a purpose and an end, and as such they remain with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
This book made me cry. But not with the kind of tears thats borne out of sadness or grief, but rather the watery eyes that occur when you read something so beautiful it gives an inexplicable sense of joy and calm. When I finished the book, I felt a loss. The loss of firsts. I would never experience The Night Circus for the first time again. But you can.