“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.”
Thus begins the magical and haunting tale of a mysterious circus and its enchanting inhabitants. Celia and Marco are our main protagonists, and the reader follows them through a convoluted game played by their respective guardians using the two of them as unwilling pawns. The fates of Celia and Marco become intertwined with both the fate of the circus and of the performers within along with innocent bystanders who become enraptured with the circus itself, dreamers who will follow the circus anywhere it goes.
When I first began this novel, I felt that the start was a little slow, but before you know it, you are entranced along with those dreamers. The magic comes not just from the magicians but also from the lush and inviting prose. It’s not difficult to imagine yourself meandering through the circus tents, slowly discovering the wonders within for yourself. It’s a world in black and white, but beautiful, enchanting, mysterious, and magical. By the end, I felt my heart sing, and I craved more. If this were a movie, I can only hope it’s a better version of Moulin Rouge performed by Cirque de Soleil with effects done by Industrial Light and Magic.
I highly recommend buying a physical copy of this book. The timeline jumps around a bit, and you’ll want to be able to easily flip back and forth between chapters to keep track of the dates. Also, this is a book I guarantee you are going to want to read again and again. I plan to buy more copies so I can be sure my friends get to read this wonderful book as well. Click on the book cover above to purchase from Amazon.
Check out the book trailer here to get a feel for what the book is like. Also check out Erin Morgenstern’s website for more about this wonderful author and her first novel.