Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

AuthorErin Morgenstern
TitleThe Night Circus
Publication Info: New York : Doubleday, 2010.

I read this book as the result of it being chosen for the JP Reads program. It’s certainly not the type of book that I’d choose for myself, but I’m glad to be exposed to something so creative and unique.  The basic plot is that two magicians make a wager in which they each raise a child to be their apprentice in magic and then have them duel to the death.  The magical Circus of Dreams becomes the venue of their battle.  A wrench is thrown into the works when the young proteges Celia Bowen and Marco Alisdair fall in love.  My favorite parts of the book are side stories about rêveurs, the devoted fans of the Circus who follow the performances from town to town like Victorian deadheads, and a young boy from Concord named Bailey whose fascination with the Circus leads him to befriending young twin performers.  The side stories actually become much more central in the clever conclusion to the novel.

Favorite Passages:

“You’re not destined or chosen, I wish I could tell you that you were if that would make it easier, but it’s not true.  You’re in the right place at the right time, and you care enough to do what needs to be done.  Sometimes that’s enough.” – p. 360

Recommended booksSomething Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
Rating: ****


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