I had this book on my shelf for an embarrassingly long time before I finally set to reading it. You know when it seems there are new books coming out constantly, and you just don’t have the time and a #tbr book gets pushed back and back until you start to wonder why you still have it sitting on your shelf unread? Maybe it’s because it is written in present tense, which I found a bit off-putting at first. But I quickly got into the swing of things and I’m glad I persevered, because it really is a beauty.
It didn’t change my life, the way I feel when I see other people recommend this book, but it was a beautifully written story and I enjoyed it immensely. It is such a subtle story. It takes its time to introduce the characters, to set up the playing field for the challenge and to introduce everyone to us. It takes its time to introduce secondary characters as if they are primary characters, which in a way makes them something in-between.
We get to know them about as well as the others, and bear with them while they imagine and create the Night Circus, onto which Marco and Celia becomes hangers-on. They eventually come to dominate the entire venue, but they don’t start out that way – they start out as almost secondary characters. The real protagonist, you will come to see, is the Night Circus itself. It is a unique way of telling a story and I absolutely fell in love with it. We are kept as much in the dark about what it is that Marco and Celia would have to do, and that helps with the slow build up of the plot’s climax.
There is undeniable magic within the Night Circus, and thus in the book The Night Circus. It is just as subtle as the plot, though. When Marco and Celia actually start creating, and we realise that their battle is not one of direct confrontation, combat or destruction, we as readers can completely submerge ourselves in the wondrous and beautiful things they make. And start making for each other (*heart eyes*). That is perhaps why its final outcome seems far too cruel for such a game. Especially considering that it is constantly portrayed as a game, a contest.
This is where Tsukiko finally reveals her true colours, and which gives off this vibe of much more secrets lying underneath the surface, never to be revealed. Or, at least not in this book. For the Night Circus keeps going, passing into different and perhaps more careful hands, trying to move beyond the stain Prospero and A. H- have put on it. I found myself loving this circus as if I was one of the rêveurs, and reading this book feels exactly like being a rêveur who has been given a one time only, special insight into the workings of the magical circus.
What I find especially inspiring is that this book was written for NaNiWriMo. We never know what we can do when we set ourselves to writing the stories in our minds. The Night Circus is very well written, a magical, beautiful and especially subtle story that I am very glad to have added to my mental inventory. The present tense sentences add to the feeling of both timeliness and timelessness in which the Night Circus itself seems to operate. It builds the atmosphere perfectly, and you will be very well able to read it once you get into the rhythm of it. The story itself is enough to sweep you off your feet, and Erin Morgenstern manages to paint a vivid picture of an entirely black and white circus.