The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I was number 138 on the hold list when I requested this book many moons ago. It could not have arrived at a worst time. I was dealing with a family emergency and barely had time to pick it up before it was returned to the hold queue. Then, I had to deal with several other issues that made it nearly impossible to sit down and read it. As a consequence, my enjoyment of the book was marred by my need to read it during stolen moments, which seemed few and far between during the last month. At one point, I toyed with the idea of just returning it and waiting to check it out again (you can’t renew a request when there are hundreds of holds on it). But I really really wanted to finish it, especially when I got to the circus and fell in love with the whole concept of the book.
It’s such an immersive sort of book. It’s incredibly sensual in its narrative–in the true sense of the word. The narrative invokes all your senses, drawing you into the circus and making you feel/see/hear/touch/smell the magic of the circus. A scene or description that might seem disconnected at first, becomes clear as the stories continues, each chapter coinciding with the idea of the tents as individual, self-contained realities and experiences within a greater whole.
It’s hard to describe the book. It’s about magic, but it’s more than that. It’s about love, loss, reality, illusion, death, transcendence, power, perception, obsession, time, Shakespeare, myth…
It’s a heady sort of book. I almost felt like a rêveur in the end.