The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Ranked #5,381 in Books, Poetry & Writing, #129,664 overall

I have been an avid reader for almost 6 decades and have become awfully fussy about my likes and dislikes. I used to read a book from cover to cover almost out of a sense of duty even if I didn’t like it. This book was mesmerizing. I cannot remember the last time a book drew me in and made me reluctant to finish. I savored and cherished every word. I reread it as soon as I finished, because I wanted the world of the Night Circus to be real. I didn’t want to leave.

I believed I could change this book by rereading it.

I hoped for a different ending on the second read, and the magic of the book was so absorbing that I thought it would be possible. I thought I could imagine an alternative end to the love story and it might happen that way. This was Erin Morgenstern’s first novel, and yes it was that good. Maybe better.

So now you know. I don’t recommend books very often. This one you MUST read. I got it out of the library. I will buy it because I must own it. I must be able to revisit this unique circus as often as I want, as I am able.

This masterpiece involves all your senses. You can smell the circus, taste the chocolate, feel the presence of unseen forces, and imagine how the color red POPS in this world of black and white…

Yes, there is magic, but it demands a new definition. The book stretches, expands, and adds a whole new dimension to the word. Yes, there is a love story and normally I avoid love stories. They’re too predictable, egotistical, emotional, and unforgiving.

Night Circus breaks the mold.

book cover

This love story is different.

Usually, literary lovers are required to relinquish too much of themselves, in my opinion. In this story, nothing is cut and dry, nothing is assumed, and the ending is nothing you might have imagined. Just as much of this story is about bindings, in a magical sense, the thread of love doesn’t set the lovers apart in their own world but binds them to the real world. Yet Morgenstern leaves you wondering, what is the real world and what is illusion? Where’s my thesaurus, I need some new adjectives. Something besides engaging, enthralling, and simply brilliant.

I immersed myself in this book while reading it, and it left me on the blurry edge of dreams and reality . Morgenstern worked her own magic, freeing my own dreams from their bindings…and I cannot wait to read what she writes next.

I live in a magical place — moss, ferns, deep forests punctuated with bright sunlight, wildlife that appears silently and disappears as quietly. It would not be so out of place if a circus were to appear out of nowhere one misty morning…

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  • Sylvestermouse Mar 30, 2014 @ 9:27 am
    Just stopping back by to let you know this article has been featured on Review This!
  • bekat Mar 30, 2014 @ 11:49 am
    Thank you!
  • Sylvestermouse Mar 27, 2014 @ 10:25 am
    An excellent review that makes me want to run out and get the book immediately so I can start reading it. I do love a book that leaves me wondering what was real and what was a dream.
  • JimHouston33 Mar 17, 2014 @ 9:38 am
    Really nice lens Katherine. Dreams and reality - Diffusion through the colored glass. You create your own reality one thought at a time. JimHouston33
  • bekat Mar 17, 2014 @ 12:59 pm
    Choosing positive thoughts can sometimes seem like mental gymnastics but the results are so worth it. Thanks for the reminder.
  • Arachnea Mar 15, 2014 @ 11:27 am
    Your lens is an excellent recommendation for the book.
  • wleon63 Mar 14, 2014 @ 5:39 pm
    I have picked this book up before and flicked through it. What little I read of it, I enjoyed. You review makes me want to read this book all the way through. I may purchase this at some point in the near future. Well done on a great review.
  • DreyaB Mar 14, 2014 @ 12:37 pm
    I generally love sci-fi and fantasy and your review makes me want to read the book - you make it sound amazing. Another one for my wish list! Thanks for sharing and congrats on ROTD too. :0)
  • Wednesday_Elf Mar 14, 2014 @ 11:50 am
    Fantastic review! Your love of this book shines through in your description. I own books like that which I reread and am enthralled to the point I don't want the story to end, even when I know the ending. :) Congratulations on having this excellent review featured on 'Review of the Day'.
  • reycarr Mar 14, 2014 @ 9:42 am
    Thanks for promoting this wonderful book with your review. I put in on my list of top books I read last year. It was so different, yet so engaging. I wanted to run away with that circus.
  • ErinMellor Mar 13, 2014 @ 3:12 pm
    This was a book group pick that I wasn't keen to read, but I was absolutely enchanted by it.
  • carknack Mar 13, 2014 @ 1:48 pm
    Wow You sure have a way with words. Your review makes me want to rush out and get this book, and I will. Good work.
  • bekat Mar 13, 2014 @ 2:34 pm
    Thanks so much -- enjoy!
  • Suzywonton Mar 13, 2014 @ 1:21 pm
    Read it. It was an enjoyable read all round.
  • bekat Mar 13, 2014 @ 1:33 pm
    Thanks so much for leaving a comment!
  • nightcats Mar 13, 2014 @ 1:20 pm
    I have read the book and it is compelling. It is so different from most stories that you find. I do not usually enjoy magic and mystical components but Night Circus drew you in and made you believe. It's well worth the read.
  • bekat Mar 13, 2014 @ 1:32 pm
    I agree about books about magic; I may be one of the few people who has no desire to ever read a Harry Potter book or see a movie. It sounds like we had the same experience: magnetic and believable.
  • Merrci Mar 13, 2014 @ 10:45 am
    It's going on my list too. Now I want to read it to see just how it caught you! Great review!
  • bekat Mar 13, 2014 @ 1:24 pm
    Thank you! May your experience of it be as magical as mine.
  • grammieo Mar 13, 2014 @ 10:19 am
    Okay you have convinced me too! I, like you don't like romance novels because as you said they are predictable, but this one sounds like a keeper! Thanks for your review.....
  • bekat Mar 13, 2014 @ 1:23 pm
    I have no idea how Morgenstern will top this when she writes another book, this one is so unique, including the love story -- nothing ordinary about it.
  • OhMe Mar 13, 2014 @ 9:38 am
    Wonderful review. Congratulations on a well deserved Review of the Day
  • bekat Mar 13, 2014 @ 1:21 pm
    Wow, I had no idea until I read this comment. Now I'm overwhelmed. Today is my birthday, what a nice present from all you kind people, and from Squidoo!
  • Sir_Daniel_UK Mar 13, 2014 @ 9:18 am
    Alrighty, I'm also convinced, thanks to your review. Enjoyed it and I believe you, which I suppose is the job of all reviewers... to be trusted; believed.

    I'll be banging on my library's door to be let in and hunt for this book real soon!
  • bekat Mar 13, 2014 @ 1:20 pm
    Oh do it! I even convinced myself that I need to read it again.
  • rms Mar 13, 2014 @ 9:12 am
    You convinced me too. Looks like something I'd devour.
  • bekat Mar 13, 2014 @ 1:19 pm
    I really, really hope it doesn't disappoint. I read it with a Goodreads group and everyone loved it except for a couple people who didn't like it at all. Of course, I have no idea why!
  • Susan52 Mar 12, 2014 @ 7:55 pm
    What an enthralling review! You convinced me. I just bought the book.
  • bekat Mar 12, 2014 @ 11:40 pm
    Thanks, Susan. I was looking at that "review the most romantic books" challenge and it reminded me of this book. And then I thought about how you always say to follow your passion when writing and I knew I had to write about it. I still get shivers down my spine thinking about it. I've never had a book do that to me before.