October 2, 2014

From My Nightstand: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I finished this book following a marathon, late-night, hundred-page reading session (almost unheard of now that I have small children), and I found myself in awe of Erin Morgenstern's ability to imagine, create and weave together such a wonderful, wondrous tale.

Spoiler alert: I'm in love with this book.

Story telling is a craft, and when it is done well, it leaves me in awe. When I finish a book that is so well-crafted, one in which the story is so intricately woven that it surprises you all along the way and you find yourself flipping back through the pages to reread sections and marvel at the breadcrumb trail the author left you, and you followed, without even knowing it...I just marvel. When an author creates a world so detailed and believable, even when it stretches the bands of reality, that you are sucked-in and standing: living and breathing in that world...I am in wonder. And, I am a little bit in love. I find myself smitten with writers who can do this. (And actors...great example: James Spader in Blacklist. He's so good. I totally have a crush.) Erin Morgenstern does this with The Night Circus.

While The Night Circus takes place in the late-18-and-early-1900's, with it's center in London, the traveling circus venue really suspends both place and time. Morgenstern creates her own world and draws you in. In her world, there is a traveling circus that arrives without warning. It never advertises, beyond word of mouth. It simply appears, is if from no where. It stays for a few days, then is gone once again. It is called Le Cirque des Reves and it's gates open when the sun sets and close when the sun rises. It is The Night Circus.

Visitors are entranced by The Night Circus's magic. But the magic they see, the magic they sense, only scratches the surface. What they cannot comprehend is the delicate balance, the painstaking work and the competition that lives "behind the curtain" in a world that does not follow the rules of their own.

Because of the book's complexity, you must bear with Morgenstern through the early chapters as she lays the groundwork for the story. It has the potential to be a bit confusing early-on as it quickly changes time and place and perspective, introducing new characters on what seems like a whim. But she is, in fact, weaving a tapestry for you and eventually you will see the beauty of the art and no longer the individual strings of yarn.

I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. If you haven't already, check it out.

For more recommendations on what to read next, check out the Books Worth Reading tab at the top of this page and the Books tag on the list at the right, or check out my Books, Books, Books board on Pinterest here: http://www.pinterest.com/amylorbach/books-books-books/.

Until next time, happy reading.

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