Monday, 23 July 2012

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

In her debut novel, Erin Morgensetern reacquaints us with our childhood. The Night Circus is an enchanting read which invites us into Le Cirque de Reves.We stand in awe as we look at the black and white striped tents, smell the wafting fragrance of toffee apples and taste the mystifying scents of magic.Yes this book brings with it a sense of awe and wonderment; the type we got as children when we first entered a circus and saw the giant elephants, got a ride on a donkey’s back and watched clowns throwing knives at each other while blindfolded. One moment you look out your back window to see fields of green and the next moment the landscape has changed, utterly transformed into colonies of black and white tents, sitting, waiting for the sun to set and the fun to begin.
            A big part of the mystery in this novel is the charming and quirky characters which we encounter. The Night Circus would not be the same without the two twins, Widget and Poppet; Isobel, the fortune teller; the contortionist, Tsukiko; Herr Thiessen, the clockmaker and of course the illusionist Celia Bowen.  Erin Morgenstern introduces us to well crafted, complex characters, which will stay in our minds long after we place the book on our book shelves and walk away. These unassuming characters themselves are the very mystery the Circus breathes and needs to live. Without them the circus would no longer serve its purpose – spectacle for the public, and venue for a challenge.
            In this novel appearances are deceptive and not all is what it may seem. The circus is a world of its own, with its own dynamics.  Even the people associated within it are unsure of its workings; its power of manipulation, even its very purpose. In the thirty years the circus runs things become more confusing as the time blisters on in this time vacuum that is known as the Le Cirques de Reves. Things begin to get a little difficult, fissures appear and those close to the circus fear for its fate. All of this is in the name of magic.

Next Week Lady Ardour will be reviewing A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich. 

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