The Night Circus

by Erin Morgenstern
ISBN: 9780307744432

I haven’t had this much fun reading a novel in a long time. It was one of those completely absorbing reading experiences — where I found myself thinking of the book when I wasn’t reading it, getting impatient when I had to put it down and attend to other things (like my job), and wanting to talk about it with other people.

Magic should feel overdone, but this doesn’t. I don’t like romances. I don’t read them and don’t see the word romantic appearing on the book’s cover as a plus in any way, but this was a love story than I really, really liked. The book creates its own reality so convincingly, you want it to be real. Surely, somewhere, there is a circus only open at night? With amazing, wondrous things? Morgenstern even manages to write a subculture following into the book in a way that feels like a shout out to any geeky fan who ever loved something enough to be made fun of for it and makes sense for the plot.

I loved this book. I suspect I will love whatever Morgenstern chooses to work on. Not long after finished the book I attended an author event sponsored by JP Reads, a “community reads” type of event that I usually think of as a good idea but don’t actually attend. She was funny, charming, and remarkably humble and honest. I waited in line afterward to get my book signed, and told her my favorite line in the book: “I prefer to remain unenlightened, to better appreciate the dark.”

If you have doubts as to whether or not you’ll like the book, try it. It would be terrible to miss the experience because you didn’t think it would be your cup of tea. (There are, I can promise you, no clowns.) I wouldn’t be surprised if you wound up wanting it to be real, too. And you won’t look at red scarves the same way this winter if you do — you may even find yourself wearing one.

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