Published: September 2011
Amazon - Goodreads
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called "Le Cirque des Reves," and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway--a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love - a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per-formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
I've had this book sitting on my shelf for years, but only picked it up this past week. After I started reading all of the good buzz and hearing about the multiple awards this book won, I knew I was going to love it. Wanting to kick off the New Year right, I started The Night Circus on January first and oh man, did it start my year out with a bang!
The setting of this book is completely blew my mind. The circus is so well created and described that I could feel the chill of the Autumn weather and the smell of the caramel popcorn. I've felt 'present' in books before, but nothing like this. When I think back to the circus, it feels more like a memory of an event in my life more than only a setting in a book.
The book doesn't only focus on Celia and Marco's game, but also on everyone revolving around it. It tells the stories of other circus performers and some outsiders that impact the circus as well. I loved how Morgenstern was able to weave all of these characters together in such an unexpected way.
The timeline jumps around quite a bit in the book, but after a few chapters I was able to keep up with the what year it was. I usually struggle with following a non-linear timeline, so I was very happy that it was created and written so wonderfully. The location also changed (from the circus traveling around the world and the entire book doesn't take place in only the circus). Each location felt so real and was unique in its own way.
"We lead strange lives, chasing our dreams around from place to place."
The Night Circus is an incredible read that offers an undeniably amazing atmosphere and setting mixed with magical characters. I was drawn in to the circus life immediately and loved Morgenstern's flawless imagery and plot. It's been a few days since I finished the book and I keep finding my mind drifting back to it. After reading The Night Circus and visiting Cirque de Reves I'm definitely a reveur.