Le Cirque des Reves is the setting for an unusual battle between two magicians (Celia and Marco), who are shrouded in as much mystery as the reader. The Circus of Dreams, is a black and white world as temporary as permanent, as dangerous as it is intoxicating to its patrons. The circus will open at nightfall and close at dawn. Inside, you will find tents filled with impossibilities beyond your most imaginative dreams.
From the moment a ring burns and dissipates into Celia’s left ring finger to officiate her entrance into the competition, you become fully aware of the life-long commitment our magician’s face. The limitations and rules are existent, but relatively undefined. The construction of the story, and the emotional arch of the character’s, mirror that of marriage, both challenging and sometimes dissatisfying, but also utterly beautiful. The novel was an unexpected romance that won over my heart.
Sometimes speculation can be an awful habit. I unintentionally attempt to predict every event when reading, gloating over my correct guesses while simultaneously spoiling the ending for myself. If you suffer the same, let go while reading The Night Circus. I was totally surprised by the ending. Without giving anything away- all the pieces were there all along, but is was nice to watch them finally fall together in a not-too-neat image of sacrifice and love.
What made The Night Circus so successful is Morgenstern’s attention to detail. Her cast is incredible, both those living within the world of the magical attraction and the outsiders profoundly affected by its majesty. With so much detail and the novel spanning thirty years I’d offer one tip: don’t worry about getting lost within the non-linear timeline; the stars align in a most unexpectedly sweet way. You will be enraptured in Morgenstern’s world of black and white, and anxious to wear a red scarf for the rest of the winter season.
As a side note: I still can’t believe the first draft of The Night Circus was written for National Novel Writing Month! For those of you who don’t know about NaNoWriMo, it is a thirty-day challenge to write a novel or 50,000 words during the month of November. As a writer, this novel is a book of about dreams and a product of a seemingly impossible dream come true. The Night Circus is proof intensely hard work will pay off.