Nanjiba Recommends: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Erin Morgenstern is a writer and a multimedia artist, who describes all her work as “fairy tales in one way or another.” She grew up in Marshfield, Massachusetts. She currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts with two very fluffy cats. Her books include adult novels: Flax-Golden Tales and The Night Circus.

The Goodreads website states that the book is about a circus that 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. But behind the scenes a fierce competition is under way–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. Throughout the years of the its travels, the circus game is no longer seen as a competition but as a wonderful collaboration. With no knowledge of how the game must end, our two competitors innocently tumble headfirst into love. A deep, passionate, and magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.  However their masters still pull the strings, and this unforeseen occurrence forces them to intervene with dangerous consequences, leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance. 

What I enjoyed most about this book is how the blurb misleads you. In a way this story is about a circus with magnificent acts and two characters competing in a game their whole lives, without knowing the reason why. However there’s another side to the story that the reader will only know once they’ve read the novel. Throughout the book we understand that every event, every person encountered, everything is significant and this Night Circus is connected to it all one way or another. Which I think is a nice touch of magic and mystery by the author. Also in terms of the writing style, the novel is written in the third person and to me it’s written in a way that describes people and how people make life interesting, almost magical like the circus. This is a novel about a circus like no other, time and love found in the most strangest, perhaps even magical of ways? Overall Erin Morgenstern has written a spell-casting love story that will leave you as the reader, content and confused as if there is more to this story than just pages in a book. Maybe it also needs a little magic, or just the reader’s imagination?


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