The Night Circus

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern, is a magical first novel. The author's imagination is matched only by her ability to capture it on paper.

The book spans the years 1873-1936 and centers on the Cirque des Reves--a "Circus of Dreams" that opens at nightfall and closes at dawn. It travels via rail all over Europe, but appears without notice and disappears just as suddenly. The Cirque des Reves features trapeze artists, animal acts, fortune tellers, contortionists, and fantastic holograms. The acts are breathtaking and spectacular.

Yet the beauty of the circus is matched by the empathetic characters and the ingenious plot. The Cirque des Reves revolves around two figures, Celia and Marco, who are competitors in a game of skill and endurance. Each is trying to exceed the other in magical feats. The circus provides the venue for this. Celia's father and Marco's guardian have been training them in the art of magic since they were children, making them pawns in the power struggle of their elders. Echoes of Dickens resonate as we witness examples of childhood exploitation and physical and emotional abuse.

Still, the children grow into healthy adults, albeit lonely ones. It is not surprising that they are strongly attracted to one another from a young age, not knowing until much later that they are rivals. "Our instructors do not understand how it is," comments one of the characters. " To be bound to someone in such a way. They are too old, too out of touch with their emotions. They no longer remember what it is to live and breathe within the world. They think it simple to pit any two people against each other. It is never simple (p. 344)."

In many ways, the book is a 400 page fairy tale for adults. It uses romance as a binding thread, interweaving complicated characters and breath-taking performances.

If you are a lover of fantasy, romance, or imaginative prose, this book is a must-read. It would also be enjoyed by the high school and college set, and by anyone who loved Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games. Already, the movie rights have been sold.

Here's NPR's review.

Check Our Catalog

Comments List

Excerpts is the library newsletter and comes out every three months. It is mailed to every Glencoe resident. Copies of the newsletter are available online (below) and at the library. Please be sure to check the library calendar for program updates.

2020 Issues

March 2020

June 2020

September 2020

2019 Issues

December 2019

September 2019

June 2019

March 2019

2018 Issues

December 2018

September 2018

March 2018

June 2018

2017 Issues

December 2017

March 2017

June 2017

September 2017

2016 Issues

December 2016

September 2016

March 2016

June 2016

2015 Issues

December 2015
September 2015
June 2015

March 2015

2014 Issues
December 2014
September 2014
June 2014
March 2014

2013 Issues
December 2013
September 2013
June 2013
March 2013

2012 Issues
December 2012
September 2012
June 2012
March 2012

2011 Issues
December 2011
September 2011
June 2011
March 2011

2010 Issues
December 2010
September 2010
June 2010
March 2010

2009 Issues
December 2009
September 2009
June 2009
March 2009

2008 Issues
December 2008