Book: The Night Circus

Author: Erin Morgenstern

Rating: 5/5

The Night Circus-Erin Morgenstern

A beautiful tale of impossible love interwoven through bonds deeper than blood yet with the menace of a life-threatening challenge set within the circus of dreams. As Celia Bowen and Marco battle from afar, creating love letters in the form of an exposition tent, the circus truly encapsulates the fantasy, wonder, magic, dreams and love that bewitches the reader. Mystical elements are used through enthralling description that makes the illusionist's magic, Tsukiko’s contorts, Isobel’s foretelling, Marco’s ice-garden, the wishing tree, and Lefèvre’s circus come to life from the pages of the book. Herr Thissen's "Dreamlike" clock stands centre in "le cirque des rêves" that "arrives without warning...no announcements precede it...it is simply there, when yesterday it was not". The breath-taking magic of the circus compels the reader as we follow Bailey's exploration at the Night Circus and the dangers behind the facade in its true concealment of a barbaric contest.

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Social/Historical context:

Set in the 1800-1900s, the Night Circus travels around the world in its tour of magic, from Lyon to Munich, Concord to Dublin, Montréal to Boston, Paris and Vienna, yet returning ceremoniously to its birthplace in London of 1886, the biggest city in Europe – a city of art and literature, science and theatre. Under the reign of young Queen Victoria and the terror of Jack the Ripper - rife in the streets, the circus encompasses the cultures of each new capital city of the 1800s and 1900s with a suspension in the art of true magic and illusion.

Writing Style:

Written in third-person, Morgenstern entangles the worlds of Bailey’s life in Concord, Massachusetts; Herr Thissen’s clockwork magic in Munich; Prospero the Enchanter’s shows in New York and the conception of Le Cirque des rêves in the heart of England that collide in the magic of the circus, coming together and drawing the story to its conclusion in New York 1902. Our omniscient narrator enhances the magic of the illusions and truly encapsulates the enchantment of the Night Circus.

My Thoughts:

An enchanting book that truly captures the magic of a circus, creating a circus made from dreams yet with the foreboding of an elusive challenge, a perilous contest that threatens to rip apart young love. The Night Circus is beautifully written, with hypnotic elements, as Morgenstern weaves the fantasy of illusion with the terror murder, wrapping the reader in their crimson scarf, and binding their loyalty to the circus that promises to stay with you long after you have turned the last page. Truly amazing.

Book Reviewed by Genevieve

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