The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This may be one of my favorite books. Ever. Magic everywhere, forbidden romance, a little suspense, all against the backdrop of a mysterious circus. (sans creepy clowns!)
The novel is presented in three formats- the telling of the story in third-person narrative, from the perspective of "you", a circus attendee, and through brief quotes from a minor character and classic authors like Wilde and Shakespeare. This technique cleverly provides perspective and forward momentum throughout the book.
The story occurs between 1873 and 1903, although the author does not offer it linearly. The jumping-around is not distracting, however. Instead, it serves to reinforce the theme that "time is a funny thing". Other themes throughout the book include the nature of competition, the perception of reality, and understanding the role of both free will and predetermination in the shaping of one's future.
The writing is beautifully done, there are characters both to love and despise, and the circus world that is presented to us gives enough detail to clearly envision it, but the reader is encouraged, through the nature of the circus itself, to overlay her own dreams and fantasies over the experience.
This is definitely one I will be purchasing for my home library. And I am hopeful that Morgenstern will bring us more novels soon!
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