I love that The Life of Bon does a book club each month. I don't always get to link-up, but when I do it's an exciting day. Especially when it's one of my all time favorite books. The Night Circus!
Summary: Honestly, it's hard to summarize this book without giving spoilers. A majority of what makes this story so awesome is not knowing much about it. You uncover the plot and the characters as it goes. Basically... there are two characters (Celia and Marco) who are raised to compete in a magical competition whose setting is a circus. If you haven't read the book and would like to keep the story a mystery- read no further because spoilers are ahead!
Here are some of the questions Bonnie gave for us to answer:
+ Who is your favorite character in the novel and why?
Initially, being the hopeless romantic that I am, I loved Celia and Marco the most. Especially Marco. He's incredibly charming, even though he's also very manipulative. But I love Celia's strength to endure as well.
Then, when I read it again, I loved Bailey and Poppet and Widget the most. Once I got over the main story line of Celia and Marco, I was able to focus on the other three more. Bailey is your normal kid who happens to be the right person in the right place at the right time. He dreams of adventures and something bigger than the life he is already leading. Poppet and Widget are twins who befriend him at the circus and show him all it has to offer, and they have their own special talents.
Then yet again, I read it a third time, and I loved reading about the other side characters. Tsukikkio, Chandresh, the sisters, Ethan, Alexander is a fascinating character, and so many others, I love them all! They're so wacky and out there and it makes it so much fun.
I love Celia and Marco. It might be at least partially because I wouldn't be able to resist Marco either. Beyond that though, it's such a unique relationship. The entire story they are writing love letters back and forth in the form of circus tents and spectacles. They grow together through their magic and collaborations. It's so unique and I love how it shows you can get to know others through what they create. Then there's the "forbidden love" element and you're rooting for them to be together in spite of the odds and the circumstances of the game. It's definitely an over-romantacized and (probably) unrealistic relationship, but I think that's part of the fun. The Night Circus is very much like a fairy tale, so everything is over the top and magical. The romance between Celia and Marco fit the feel of the story perfectly.
+ Did you like the writing style? Why or why not?
I love Erin Morgenstern's writing style. As I said above, The Night Circus is like a fairy tale. In my opinion, fairy tales have a very different story-telling style than other novels and stories do. They're more over the top, magical, mysterious, etc. She created this magical and mysterious world where anything can happen. All of the senses are there. Even though you are only reading about it, you can almost smell the food and the air she describes. You can almost feel the fabrics of the circus tents. You can almost hear the people talking as they wander about the circus. She also adds so many other elements to the story beyond magic and a love story. There's fashion, engineering, food, storytelling, art, reading, friendship, family, and so much more. She pieces them all together to make one big mosaic. Yes, she gets very detailed and there are times it might appear over the top, but it works for The Night Circus and the feel she wants for the novel. It wouldn't work for other types of novels, but it does for this one.
+ What is the significance of Celia's and Marco's relationships with their father figures? (Hector and Alexander) In what ways are these relationships healthy or unhealthy?
Celia and Marco have very different relationships with their father figures. Celia is with her father (Hector) all of the time. He never leaves her and is always pushing her. He uses some... unconventional... teaching methods for her to learn magic. She learns much from him, but he sees her more as a pupil than a daughter. His main goal is to win and doesn't take her own well-being into consideration often.
Marco on the other hand works with Alexander (or the Man in the Grey Suit. Alexander isn't his actual name.). Marco is not Alexander's biological son, and Alexander teaches with a more indirect approach than Hector does. Alexander relies more on books and letting Marco learn on his own. While Marco is growing up, Alexander comes in and teaches some. Then, once Marco is older, he almost completely disappears from his life. However, one could argue Alexander is a better father figure than Hector is. While the game is still his ultimate focus and isn't around much, he seems to care a bit more for the well being of not just Marco, but Celia as well, than Hector does.
It's an interesting look at teaching and parenting styles, however, in this novel both seem to be unhealthy. There are pros and cons to both styles, but neither are truly healthy relationships.
+ Anything else you want to say, add, admit, confess? Now's your time to shine!
I cannot express how much I love this book. There's something about it which draws me in every single time. I feel as though it is one of the stories which speaks to my soul. This is now the third time I've read The Night Circus. The first time was with my beloved hard cover copy, and the other two have been an audio book. Each time I read or listen to it, I notice other things. Parts of the plot I didn't understand come together. I fall in love with a new character. There is always something new to be enchanted by or an old favorite to fall in love with all over again. Morgenstern has so many elements to it. I always tell people how almost everything which makes the world beautiful has some sort of representation in this book. Maybe it's because I love fantasy and romance and being enchanted, I don't know. But this is one of my all time favorite books. If you want to see some of my heart and what makes me tick, then read The Night Circus.