Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Take Tuesday: The Night Circus

The Night Circus
Some books are just so good, you have to read them again. And some books deserve a second chance. And some books I think about and change my opinion or have more to say. Take Tuesday is a chance to do just that. 

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Publication Date: 9/13/11
Pages: 387
Genre: Fantasy / Romance / Fiction
Previous Readings: 7/14/12
Date Completed This Time: 4/23/15

Summary: Celia and Marco are unwittingly bound together in a mysterious competition while both very young. They each are trained, Celia by her magician father and Marco by a phlegmatic man in a gray suit. As the grow older, each becomes intricately involved with Le Cirque des Rêves. The Circus of Dreams, which begins as the eccentric dream of a wealthy dreamer, becomes the stage for their contest.

What I Thought Before: Unless you are a long time reader, you likely do not remember my effusive gushing over Erin Morgenstern's debut novel back in 2012. I called it 'magical,' a descriptor I found just as apt this second time around, and recommended it to just about everyone who has asked for a book recommendation since.

What I Think Now: I must first and foremost express my gratitude to Amy of Read A Latte. She was so sweet to include a copy of this book in my Secret Santa package at Christmas. It has been sitting on my to-read shelf (the literal one in my house) for months as I pushed through the end of grad school. I knew it would prove itself a delightful reward for program completion.

And so it did.

This novel is so whimsical and imaginative and beautiful. It feels full of life and vivacity. Marcus and Celia are tender, powerful, emotive, cautious protagonists. The beauty of their competition is it becomes too difficult to root for one or the other. Morgenstern takes you smoothly to a place where you are rooting for both to triumph together over fate itself.

The tragedies and triumphs both feel rich and genuine, even in the midst of a quite fantastical world. I still closed the cover longing to be a rêveur myself. If anyone finds the circus out there in the world, let me know. I'll have my red scarf ready.

Quote I Loved: "Stories have changed...There are no more battles between good and evil, no monsters to slay, no maidens in need of rescue. Most maidens are perfectly capable of rescuing themselves...at least the ones worth something, in any case. There are no longer simple tales with quests and beasts and happy endings. The quests lack clarity of goal or path. The beasts take different forms and are difficult to recognize for what they are. And there are never really endings, happy or otherwise. Things keep going on, they overlap and blur, your story is part of your sister's story is part of many other stories, and there is no telling where any of them may lead. Good and evil are a great deal more complex than a princess and a dragon, or a wolf and a scarlet-clad little girl. And is not the dragon the hero of his own story? Is not the wolf simply acting as a wolf should act?...The heart of the tale and the ideas behind it are simple. Time has altered and condensed their nuances, made them more than story, greater than the sums of their parts. But that requires time. The truest tales require time and familiarity to become what they are."

Rating: ★★★★★
Will I Re-Read: Most definitely
If You Liked This Try:

A Reduced Review: A magical journey about life, love, and the power of dreams.

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