Monday, August 27, 2012

'The Night Circus'

"There are many kinds of magic, after all"

It is during times like these when we all need some sort of escape.  Be it via a vacation, or a hike, or even listening to music, we need to leave behind those things which cause us stress.  

I escape into stories.  And the one I have just finished reading led me far, far away from stress and politics and financial worries.  It gently took me by the hand and led me down a path filled with brilliant imagery.  

'The Night Circus', by Erin Morgenstern, is the object of my affection.  It has been reviewed extensively; either loved or disliked by its critics, it is, for me, one of the most original stories I've encountered in a long, long time.  

Magical, delicate, a swirl of colors.  Characters that challenge you.  Characters with whom you fall in love.  A 'game' that has no purpose and no clear end in sight.  

This story is magic, plain and simple.  No parlor tricks; no 'smoke and mirrors'.  Ironically, it is full of real illusion.

The two unwilling pawns in the game are Celia, a brilliant illusionist, and Marco, one of the caretakers of Le Cirque des Rêves.  But neither are aware that they are adversaries in an ages-old game set forth by two men:  Celia's father and 'the man in the grey suit'.

As a 'stage' for the competition, Le Cirque des Rêves is born, but it is not one full of clowns, bearded ladies, and carnival games.  This is a circus ablaze with color and texture, each tent housing scenes and illusions that touch the hearts of each visitor.  You will meet Bailey; the twins, Widget and Poppet; the clockmaker, Herr Thiessen; and Chandresh Lefèvre, Marco's 'employer'.   

But if I could say more, I would.  This beautiful and well-written story must be read and savored and passed on to someone who needs a bit of magic right now.  I will visit 'The Night Circus' again, perhaps many times, and go away even more enchanted...

...after the sun sets, and the marvelous clock engages my imagination while I consider just what tent I'll visit next time.

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