Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Idgiepug’s #CBR4 Review #20: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus is yet another book that I read after its popularity peaked, but this time it was because I was patiently waiting for it to be available at the library.  It finally was, but in large-print edition, which caused a moral dilemma for me.  Should I check it out and possibly deny someone who really does need large print?  I decided to go ahead and do it.  I’m hoping that all the times I’ve avoided the handicapped stall in public restrooms will make up for it.  To further assuage my guilt, I planned to read the novel as quickly as possible to get it back to the library soon, but I needn’t have planned for it.  I loved the novel so I did read it quickly, but my plan backfired in that I loved the book so much that I insisted that my husband and I read it together after I had finished.

The book opens with a second-person narrative describing the experience of seeing the night circus, or Cirque des Reves, spring up near your home and waiting in line at dusk to see it.  Then, it proceeds through a series of chapter-like sections, each introduced by the place and date in which the action takes place.  It’s mostly chronological, detailing the training of a young girl named Celia by her father and a young boy who will eventually adopt the name Marco for a mysterious competition involving magic.  Eventually, both Marco and Celia find themselves part of the Cirque des Reves, a magical nighttime circus that each of them manipulates to one-up the other.  The circus performers and organizers become part of the story, as does a young man named Bailey who sneaks into the circus during the daytime as a child and encounters a beautiful little girl with striking red hair whom he remembers for years as he waits for the circus to return.  There’s also a German clock-maker who is commissioned to make a fantastic clock for the circus and eventually becomes its biggest fan and unofficial leader of the Reveurs, a dedicated group of fans who follow the circus and dress in all black with a touch of red, usually a scarf, to identify each other in the crowd.  All of these characters’ lives intertwine with each other and with the circus as Marco and Celia continue their mysterious competition.

I can’t say too much more about the book except that I am incredibly grateful to the many Cannonballers who recommended it last year.  It’s a beautiful, magical novel that is now one of my favorites.

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