This week’s book of the week is Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. In another tale of the state of the pile, this was a Christmas book from my mother in 2014. In my defence, it did get a bit misplaced for a while in a storage box and then got shuffled to the bottom of a pile it shouldn’t have been on – but thanks to my mum’s habit of writing dedications in the front of gift books I have the guilts. Sorry mum.
Anyhow, everyone else read this 18 months ago at least, so I’m behind the curve, but in case you are too, The Night Circus tells the story of Le Cirque de Rêves and some of the people who live there. The circus arrives without warning, is only open at night and is filled with enchantment and wonder. The book focuses on several characters in particular, but to say much more is to say too much. It covers decades in the lives of the key players – starting before the invention of the circus and switches backwards and forwards through time as you learn some of the secrets behind the Circus of Dreams.
I started it before those pesky nightshifts and it took my brain some time to recover so it took me longer to read than how good it is. But once my brain was functioning normally again I gobbled this up. It’s clever and it’s magical but not too far from reality in many ways. It’s romantic and intriguing and I wanted more. I suspect I’ll be going back to reread this again and that I’ll get even more from it second time.
Magic! Illusions! Kittens! Clocks! Scarves! The Night Circus has all this and more – and now it’s got me wanting some more books with magical realism. I listen to Book Riot’s Get Booked podcast and there have been several people asking for books to fill a Night Circus-shaped void in their lives, so once I’ve got the pile sorted a little bit I may have to look into that. In the meantime, I’m ransacking the existing backlog for stuff that might scratch that itch. Luckily I still have some Peter Grant saved on the shelf.