We’re starting off with our 13th season of book club (BrunswickBookBabes.org) with a book described as a fairy tale for adults, The Night Circus. I’m not sure who selected this book but I am glad they did!
First, you need to know something about me, I’ve always had a fascination with carnivals and circuses. Seeing the lights twinkling at night, smelling the food, hearing the noise of the midway sets my eyes a glaze like Chris’s eyes in a Home Depot.
So reading about a magical circus, open only at night is right up my alley. And yes, you read that right, magical and not just in story but in feel, something in the way the author, Erin Morgenstern, writes conveys a true sense of magic and moments suspended in time. So if you’re not one readily able to suspend reality for a good read, don’t bother because you must in order to fully appreciate this story.
I found it almost a cross between Water for Elephants, the Prestige, and something else that I always forget as soon as I recall it and again, can’t specify the thing here (because of that instant amnesia). What may be disconcerting or confusing to readers are the jumps through times. We bounce through different periods of time (over about a 17 year period) from chapter to chapter (so much so that I found myself going to the Table of Contents on several occasions in order to keep the dates and the action in sequence in my mind yet this somehow also adds to the mystique. For this reason too, it’s a book I think that would be hard to read in short bursts but one that should be read in a long steady stream of hours over the course of a weekend.
Near the end I worried about a bit of a letdown that I felt coming, a lack of closure almost, but the author did not fail me, providing one vital little detail on a business card that sealed the deal leading me to add The Night Circus to my favorite list. I’m hoping others in the club feel the same, or at the very least, take the time to read it so we may discuss it together.