The Night Circus creates magical world where readers want to linger

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Published: October 16,2011

Tags: Book Biz, Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel, “The Night Circus,” has quickly created a buzz and is receiving good reviews. Summit Entertainment has already purchased the movie rights. Morgenstern, a Smith College theater graduate and visual artist, says she doesn’t care which actors play the parts but she’s very interested in the costumes.

The book is set in the late Victorian era and involves extraordinary magicians Celia and Marco who are sentenced by a wager of their mentors, who are bitter rivals, to compete for dominance in a miraculous touring circus, which performs only at night.

Emily Grossenbacher of Jackson’s Lemuria Bookstore is enthusiastic about “The Night Circus.” “When I think about books that stick with me, often I think of those books that made me fall in love with books “Wuthering Heights,” or the ones that sparked my beginning interest with books in childhood ‘Shiloh, ‘ ‘The Borrowers’ or the ones I have devoured because of their amazing stories and worlds ‘Harry Potter,’ ‘The Hunger Games,’” she said. “Now, imagine a book that could have been all of those things and you have ‘The Night Circus.’”

She says Morgenstern has created a magically amazing world in which she lingered for over a month for fear of finding herself on the last page of the book.

“It is at magical Le Cirque des Reves that most of this story takes place; a circus that opens at nightfall and closes at dawn,” Grossenbacher said. “A world in which the only colors are black and white, where the figments of your imagination are no longer figments, and where Celia and Marco play in a game of magic they were chosen for as children.”

From a garden made of ice to a maze made of clouds, these two magicians make their moves in the public arena of Le Cirque des Reves, but as they get to know each other by their magic, they begin to fall in love. Others also fall in love while at the night circus. The circus creates a network of enthusiasts called reveurs who dress in black and white with one dash of red. These reveurs follow the circus from place to place and their dress becomes how they identify each other while at the circus.

The Massachusetts resident began writing the book during National Novel Writing Month in 2005. She didn’t like what she was doing and out of sheer desperation sent the characters to the circus.

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