The short: 5/5 ✦. An amazing, magical, wondrous, excellently written book about amazement, magic, wonder, and love.
I am in love with this book.
It didn’t happen quickly; like the plot, its attraction was slow and gradual, inching along like the rise of the ocean’s tide – and when it was over, I realized I was surrounded by the warm waters of excellent storytelling.
The prose is sparkling, the characters inviting, and the magic is real. Or at least, I desperately wish it was. I want the Night Circus to come to my town, I want to explore its monochrome delights, I want that delicious caramel popcorn, I want to be a rêveur! Seriously, never have I wanted a book to be a movie so much (probably not true, but it’s definitely on the list).
And I can’t even really describe what makes it so appealing. It’s definitely a slow burn of a novel, so if you’re expecting something more actiony, a magical joust instead of a magical chess game, then you might be disappointed. But I urge even the mildly curious to give it a chance. Think of the film version of The Prestige, but less bitter. Think of Romeo and Juliet, but more rewarding. Think about your dreams and what would happen if they could come true.
The cover of this novel is so beautiful, it hurts to look at it. But the back cover blurbs are misleading, I think. You think it’s about Celia and Marco, but it becomes more than them. You wonder where this boy Bailey comes in and why it’s so far ahead in time. All I can say is: Patience. The answers will come, and not in a blinding flash of plot twisty insight – the realization is as gentle as finally understanding a mildly difficult math problem. Of course, you say. That makes sense. Please teach me more! (This book is a masterclass in story and plot and characters.)
I think this is at the top of favorite books I’ve read all year. How ironic – or perhaps fortuitous – that it was on the very last day of 2015. 😉
Happy New Year’s, folks!
Header image: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, published September 13th 2011 by Doubleday.