” ‘It is difficult to see a situation for what it is when you are in the midst of it,” Tsukiko says. “It is too familiar. Too comfortable.’ “
The Night Circus is a speculative fiction novel following various perspectives chronicling the conceptualization and creation of Le Cirque des Rêves, the titular Night Circus. While the story unfolds in a non-linear narrative, the reader is introduced and brought deep into the intricacies of the Circus and the people who perform within it. As much as the Circus is a main character in the story, it is also a venue for a competition between two teachers and their students. I would explain more about this, but I do think it is best going into this book without knowing very much.
I loved this book. It has a slow plot, but every aspect is intricately connected. As you read, you fall deeper under the spell of the Circus and the book itself. One of the most remarkable aspects of this novel is the way that it conveys and maintains atmosphere. Every time I picked up this book, I settled back into the world and when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about reading it. The pacing of the book is quite slow, so I can see why some people may give up on it. However, I love intricate stories that are character driven and this book is truly about its characters. The way they interact with each other and the Circus progresses so much over the course of the story.
The quote above best illustrates the way that this novel functions. The reader is thrown into an eerily similar world to ours, but one that the reader cannot help but wish existed in some capacity. This book is comfortable and welcoming, while still making the reader pay attention to details that are slowly revealed over the course of the novel. I will be recommending this book as it has become one of my all time personal favourites.
I think that fans of A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, Station Eleven and The Shadow of the Wind may also enjoy this novel.