The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Published: September 13, 2011
“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there when yesterday it was not. Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air. Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves. Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is underway–a contest between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a “game” to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters. Unbeknownst to the players, 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. “
It is so hard to put into words how I felt about The Night Circus. This book truly was magical and enchanting. I smiled to myself so many times I think onlookers thought I was crazy but I don’t care because I was that entranced by this gem. The story starts out with a title that says anticipation and the first few lines really pull you into this suspense.
“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.”
Le Cirque des Rêves translates to The Circus of Dreams and each page was truly like something out of a dream. I was completely spellbound by the author’s ability to make you experience the circus as if one was truly there. She wrote one to two-page snippets throughout the book (Anticipation, The Lovers, The Hanged Man, etc.) that discuss different tents or people you see in the circus. These parts were some of my favorites because she uses wordage to make it seem like the reader is actually present for this event. Celia and Marco’s love story is truly magical and flows nicely it’s not too rushed and not too slow. Each character felt like the main character and I loved each and every one of them. I couldn’t put this book down and it stands so well on its own but my heart longs to enter the circus again and delve into how the circus is running with Bailey, Poppet, & Widget.
1. The writing and timeline
I saw so many reviews that hated the back and forth timeline going from the past to present but personally, I thought the author did an amazing job with it. I loved how with every page turned the story started to match up in time with Bailey’s story. When he meets Poppet in an earlier chapter and later shes born I found myself going “OMG THIS IS WHO BAILEY MET!!!.” It all added to the magic of the story because I felt like I was putting together everything piece by piece.
Erin’s writing is really magical. I can not stress enough how I felt like I was a part of this world. She describes everything down to the tiniest detail. Her use of tapping into all five of readers senses added to the story. When she described food it was like I could taste it. When she wrote about the feel of something I felt like I was touching it and so on.
“The air itself is magical. Crisp and sweet in her lungs as she breathes, sending a shiver down to her toes that it is caused by more than the forewarned drop in temperature.”
2. The Concept
I freaking loved the idea of two magicians proving their abilities till one victor is standing. And to boot, the setting was a circus that they could alternate and add to honestly sign me up. Though I would have loved the competition to be a bit more fierce I still loved it none the less. A particular thing I loved in this concept was Marco’s reaction to finding out Celia was his competitor.
“She must be very good.” “She’s too good, Marco says…”
He was fixated with her from the start and it was so refreshing to see the female be much stronger than her male counterpart and him not be intimidated. He was so astonished by what she could do that every change he made was for not even for the competition.
“Everything I have done, every change I have made to that circus, every possible feat and astounding sight, I have done for her.”
Even till the end, it was Celia holding the circus together and her strength was truly admirable. I also loved how everything was tied to the circus it made for great catalyst especially when things started to break. The bonfire lighting really set in motion in the whole story and it affected each character greatly. Some took it fine while others like Tara became obsessed and it drove her mad.
“Do you think perhaps those things would be more difficult to reconcile if you were not part of them yourself? Perhaps to the point of driving one mad? The mind is a sensitive thing.”
3. Celia & Marco
This was to be expected. I love romance I am a true sucker for it and when the relationship builds and is not rushed or an after thought I am truly done for. Celia and Marco were everything anytime they were together I wanted to scream with joy. When they finally meet each other as competitors I was so excited because Erin really makes you wait. If you hate instant love don’t worry you won’t find it here.
“But I remember the people who look at me the way you do.” “What way might that be” “As though they cannot decide if they are afraid of me or they want to kiss me.” “I am not afraid of you.”
*Que high pitched scream and clapping now.* Honestly, there was nothing not to love about them. Their first kiss???? SWOON WORTHY I literally dropped my book. The way he walks over to her and just kisses her in the ballroom “Marco kisses her as though they are the only two people in the world.” I will just cry over here because of that scene and the scene on page 391 & 392 I. NEED. AIR. They loved each other so much “
If she were gone, I would be nothing.” “Only one seems truly important. I love you, she says.” “He pulls her into his arms, his tears falling onto her hair. I love you, he says when he find his voice.”
Can her dad and Mr. H just choke for putting them through this because they did not deserve the pain. Oh and an honorable mention scene that I need to speak on is when they showed each other the first time they knew they loved one another. SO so so so pure!
4. Poppet, Widget, & Bailey
I just loved the story of these three. The bond they all shared and Bailey’s true love for the circus was so cute. I loved the contrast in Bailey’s relationship with his sister to Poppet and Widget’s relationship. Pop and Wig were the cutest twin brother and sister they cared for one anther so much truly a dynamic duo in everything they did. Bailey’s feelings of being home but not feeling home were so sad and I was so happy for him and his happy ending because he deserved. Plus his growing crush on Poppet was the cutest.
“She leans forward and kisses him, not on the cheek, as she has a handful of times before, but on the lips, and Bailey knows in that moment that he will follow her anywhere.”
So many times in stories the females are love sick puppies over the male and you never really know how the males feel. It was so nice to see Marco & Bailey be the puppies.
I only wish to know more about the circus under Bailey’s care. This book was a five star so that’s really my only complaint because I am entranced by this world and want to go back a million times. I am a true rêveur.
If you have not read this magical tale please do I recommend this story a million times over. Might I also add the use of clocks and time is so prevalent in the story I loved it. It is beautiful, romantic, enticing, magical, and so much more.