Hello Interwebs! Long time no write. Lo siento on that front, but I’ve been busy shopping, marathoning every Jane Austen book turned movie I own, and reading. Which for me is pretty exciting.
Recently I read a book that I found to be scintillating to my every sense, intriguing to my every thought, and as tantalizing as sweet cookies cooling on a baking tray while mother is not paying attention. This novel is called The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern and is one of the most thought provoking books I’ve read in a long while.
I began to read this novel as it is my best friend’s favorite book and subsequently the theme for her wedding, whenever that occurs. As I will hopefully be invited, I felt I should probably understand all of the nuances gleaned from this novel. From reading the back/book sleeve, the novel promises duels, showdowns, sparkling, burning desire, and an all-together exciting read. Weighing in at 382 pages (at least the version I read) it is both substantial, yet not overwhelming.
This story is not the one promised on the back of the book. It is not knights and battles, it is not scorching love, it is not even the flashy quality of Harry Potter magic. This story is one that unfolds slowly, encompasses several lifetimes, and is about a nontraditional, pure feeling of escape through art.
I am writing this review, not only because I am behind on blog posts, (not that I have promised a specific number to you), but also due to some scathing and ignorant reviews written about this novel. I become very attached to books, even horrid ones. I play a game I like to call “Book Roulette”, where I simply go into the library and pick books at random without reading what they are about. This results in some amazing discoveries of novels untouched save the librarians fingers skimming across their surface searching for more popular titles, and some veiled sex novels. It is a fun game and never ceases to amuse me, and I daresay I have finished almost every single book I’ve ever pulled out.
So having read books from both sides of this spectrum, from very basic and singular plots to the most intricate of storylines, The Night Circus deserves better reviews and attentions.
Without giving away spoilers for the novel, because I want anyone who reads this to peruse your libraries immediately, The Night Circus is a slow tale, begun many years before the seemingly “main” protagonists are even born. The two protagonists, Celia and Marco, are pitted against each other by their instructors to participate in a game of illusions and enchantments. However, neither understands the “rules” of the game nor how it is to be won.
This is as best an honest summary I can give. The story while slow, weaves together countless lives and times together. Within itself it is magical, not a story of flashy, overly romantic love nor a story of thestrals, dragons, and spell casting wands, but a story of manipulation. It is a story of falling in love with art and the orchestrator of that art. It transcends heterosexual love, unrequited love, homosexual love, familial love; it takes every kind of love and sears them together with multicolored flames and connects everyone within it with lines of black and white. The novel is not a love story in the traditional sense, nor is it a fairy tale. It is whimsical, yes, the descriptions of illusions and tents bringing the very circus alive in your mind, but it is more than a story. It is an extension of thoughts and feelings, and is an allegory of the subtlest kind.
Morgenstern deftly describes sights, sounds, and even smells throughout her novel. Her magic is felt throughout due to her showing and not telling the story, for the story is ours to interpret and understand. Not a necessarily exciting book, nor sexually stimulating, it fills its’ readers with a warmth, which is why I feel compelled to write this review. It is a dream within pages, that captivate and bring hope, if only through the mystery of night.
While this is more the late night ramblings of a sentimental romantic, I do hope I have convinced someone to read this novel, or to read at all, for reading is the greatest form of entertainment.
Until I am moved again dear readers!