Friday, February 15, 2013

the night circus

Hello everyone! I hope you had a marvelous Valentine's Day filled with love and candy. I brought out the big guns and cooked us the most gourmet meal I've attempted to date. 

Don't be intimidated. You too, can make heart-shaped grilled cheese and chips and salsa, if you just believe in yourself.

I spent the day with this adorable little Valentine. Couldn't you just eat him up?!

And now, on to the good stuff. Our book today is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This lovely story is actually the February book for my book club! Excitement all around. So, without further ado, here we go!

Book: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Mystery/ Paranormal
Series: None
Pages: 384

I had never heard of this book until it popped up as the book of the month for book club, and boy, was I missing out! The story takes place within a traveling circus filled with mystery and intrigue. The circus only opens at night, with acts not found in your typical circus.. 

I don't even know where to begin to give you a synopsis of this story. It is so involved, with twists and turns, going back and forth between future and present, and multiple story lines occurring at once. That is not to say, however, that the story is confusing. It's easy to follow, but throws for you for a loop more than once. 

Celia Bowen, the daughter of the great magician Prospero, is entered into a game by her father at a very young age; a game she knows nothing about. The rules are not explained, nor the venue given. She knows only that she will have an opponent, and they will each try to out-perform the other. 

Marcus Alisdair is plucked from an orphanage by a mysterious man, told only that he will be involved in a game. He is trained, in isolation, for the next 10 years to prepare. He does not know when his opponent will present himself, or where; only that he must be prepared. 

This book was like nothing I've read before. The sensory experience that the author provides is amazing; you can smell the popcorn and caramel apples, hear the murmurs of delight among the crowd, and feel the rush of air as a whip is cracked. 

Below is an excerpt from the book:

First, there is a popping sound. It is barely audible over the wind and conversation. A soft noise like a kettle about to boil for tea. Then comes the light.
All over the tents, small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies. The waiting crowd quiets as it watches this display of illumination. 

Someone near you gasps

. A small child claps his hands with glee at the sight. When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign appears. 
Stretched across the top of the gates, hidden in curls of iron, more firefly like lights flicker to life. They pop as they brighten, some accompanied by a show of glowing white parks and a bit of smoke. The people nearest to the gates take a few steps back. 

At first, it is only a random pattern of lights. But as more of them ignite, it becomes clear that they are aligned in scripted letters. First, a C is distinguishable,  followed by more letters. A q, oddly, and several e's. When the final bulb pops alight, and the smoke and sparks dissipate, it is finally legible, this elaborate incandescent sign. Leaning to your left to gain a better view, you can see that it reads:

Le Cirque des Reves

The Circus of  Dreams

I know, right?! Doesn't it make you want to drop what you're doing and go read this book?

Come to think of it, that's an excellent idea.

Buy it here.


  1. I loved this book, absolutely a must read! Great review!

  2. Stopped by from H54F and saw this post too--I loved this book as well! Happy Friday!