The Night Circus

Goooood mornin’!

Hope you are all having a fantastic Wednesday!  You may have noticed I took a day off blogging, to spend another(hopefully last) day of school shopping, making doctor appts, and stessing a bit about loose ends.  I have not had very good luck this week with a variety of minor issues, but that’s OK, I ran off all of that stress this morning.  Which leads me to today’s workout-

Workout:  Another repeat of Week 4’s C25K training.  It went pretty well, and by pretty well, I mean I finished it without stopping at the end!  Yay!  That doesn’t mean I wasn’t completely exhausted and winded (and slow) by the end, but like I said, I finished.  If you are currently working on the C25K program- don’t stress, it does get easier!

Breakfast:  My dear, sweet husband had scrambled veggie-cheesy-eggs and coffee waiting for me when I got back to the house.  Not having to worry about breakfast after a sweaty run= awesome.

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I also enjoyed a yummy banana on the side.  I was extra hungry this morning!

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Before I jump into the book review, I wanted to introduce everyone to the little guy that paid a visit to Colette’s room Monday night…

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Don’t worry, he’s in a plastic bag.  The spider above is a Wolf spider.  They are apparently harmless, eat other spiders, and can get fairly large.  This one’s body (just his body!) was about the size of the middle segment of my ring finger.  Colette was not impressed.  In fact, she screamed and cried uncontrollably and had a hard time calming down even after Dennis gave him the boot (pun intended).  That was not a night I wish to repeat; let’s hope she doesn’t get another visitor like that for a long time…

Alrighty, on to the good stuff- The Night Circus!

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It’s going to be hard to explain how I felt about this book, as it was so different from anything I’ve read!  Here is the synopsis from  goodreads.com:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

And now, for my thoughts:

Set in the late 1800’s- early 1900’s, The Night Circus is captivating from the start.  I half expected it to be a sad, romantic love story centered around a traveling circus, similar to Water for Elephants, but I was clearly way off the mark.  Erin Morgenstern weaves a whimsical tale, with a dark, sinister side, about magic, illusion, and forbidden love.  It jumps from the past to the present, with each chapter, eventually melding the two together and bringing a much appreciated finality to the end.  (It’s nice not to be left hanging and guessing!)  The author paints remarkable images of the many characters involved, each with their own unique quirks and personalities.  (Celia was positively my favorite!)  I think if you like the magical side of Harry Potter, and the whimsy and romance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, you will like this book!

I will say it took me probably close to a month to complete, which is not the norm for me.  Partly, because it is summer and I’ve been busy with kids and other things, but also because this is a book that is easy to set down for a day or two, and then pick right back up where I left off.  It is not an intense page-turner, but it kept me reading, and I truly enjoyed it.

Story outline in my own words..

The story starts off with young Celia being left to her magician father, Prospero the Enchanter, after her mother commits suicide.  Rather than shower her with love and affection, he keeps an emotional distance, and raises her with the intent to polish her already existing magical abilities.  With the introduction of the mysterious ‘man in the grey suit’, Celia’s father makes a binding pact to challenge his daughter Celia, with ‘grey suits’ student-in-training, Marco.  With a diligent upbringing, focused on magic and illusion, Marco and Celia are brought up with the knowledge that they are part of a game, but not knowing the rules or what the ‘game’ even is exactly.

Enter the highly eccentric Chandresh LeFevre and his quirky circle of friends including a retired ballerina, a pair of high energy sisters, an architect, and the mysterious ‘man in the grey suit’, Mr. A.H.  While it seems Chandresh has pulled together all of the elements of the circus with assistance from his friends, he is actually being guided by a magical pull to create the ‘arena’ for the magic face-off between Celia and Marco.  Oh, and did I mention Marco is Mr. LeFevre’s assistant?  Marco takes on the job, to guide Mr. LeFevre as part of his challenge.

The circus becomes something of a modern marvel to all who attend.  Time seems to stand still within it’s walls(literally, no one ages), and people are stunned and amazed by the contortionist, the illusionist(Celia), the fortune-teller, acrobats, and more.  This includes ‘modern-day’ young Bailey.  He attends the circus as a young boy, and is mesmerized by what he sees.  On a dare from his sister, he sneaks into the circus during the day(it is only open at night) and is told he has to bring something back to prove he was there.  Nervous and confused by the seemingly endless winding paths of black and white tents, he stumbles across a little girl with bright red hair that seems to know his name without being asked.  She offers him her glove to take, which he happily accepts and escapes back to his home to flaunt his proof.   He is obsessed with the circus from that point on.

Meanwhile, back in the past again, there is a new group forming, the Rêveurs .  They are obsessed with the circus and all of it’s magic.  This group is being led by Herr Thiessen, an Austrian clockmaker, that made the original black and white clock that sits just inside the gates of the circus.  The Rêveurs follow the circus around the world, sharing in the details and stories from within the night circus.

As time moves forward, the circus grows more and more magical, with Celia and Marco building on the existing creation with new and even more enchanting exhibits.  They seem to be collaborating more than competing, and soon realize they are in love, much to Celia’s father and Marco’s teacher’s despair.

Over time, the weight of carrying such an enormous venture begin to weigh on Celia’s powers, and the loss of Herr Thiessen, begins to sour the whole endeavor.  A much older Bailey is told by the red-haired girl(Poppet) that the circus needs him(for reasons unknown to either of them) and that he must run away from home to be a part of it.  A decision that almost comes too late for Bailey.  Luckily, he meets up with the Rêveurs just in time and they lead him to the circus.  Although, upon arrival, Bailey sees that the night circus is not what it once was…

Spoiler Alert*

Bailey arrives just in time to re-light the flame of the circus and take over as head proprietor before the entire creation collapses as a whole.  Marco and Celia get to live on together as shadows of who they once were, but together nonetheless, for all eternity.  The story ends in the present day 2000’s, with the magic of the circus still carrying on. 

I know I left out some major players and parts of the story, but trust me, I could be here all day, as this was a very intricate and elaborate storyline.

If you are at all intrigued by this, I suggest you read The Night Circus was a good one!

Questions:

  • Have you read The Night Circus?  Thoughts?
  • What is your most favorite book?

I’m not sure of my most favorite of all time, but I really enjoyed Divergent and I still love The Great Gatsby.  Oh, and What Alice Forgot was a good one too… it’s too hard to decide:)

Hope you all have a fabulous Wednesday!

Amy

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2 thoughts on “The Night Circus

  1. Oh The Great Gatsby is such a beautifully written book. I love F. Scott Fitzgerald.

    Picking a favorite book is like picking a favorite flavor of ice cream or a favorite flower or a favorite french fry! It’s constantly changing, and there are just too many wonderful ones.

    This is a really great review, girl! Very well written!

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