Staff Review: The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Clara Bowen’s life came to a halt when her mother left her with a father she had never met before. Clara also did not know that her father (Hector Bowen, aka, “The Great Prospero”) was a powerful illusionist and that she, herself, is just as powerful. Rather than nurturing and loving her like most fathers, Hector Bowen makes a deal with the mysterious A.H. and prepares her for a battle with dangerous consequences. What this “battle” involves is a competition between illusionists who do not share their secrets or collaborate with other illusionists. As Clara trains, A.H. plucks a child named Marco from an orphanage and trains him the best way he knows how, which leaves this boy questioning his role in this competition. What Hector and A.H. didn’t count on was what would happen if Clara and Marco were to meet. Moreover, the stage for this battle, Le Cirque des Reves, The Night Circus, transforms into something more precious that some players would sacrifice everything to keep alive.

The Night Circus is a beautiful tale where magic sets the stage for a dream that most people would love to re-live over and over. What most readers wouldn’t expect is how richly complicated this story is where two people, destined to destroy each other, actually come to together to create something incredibly beautiful other than falling in love. Another aspect of this story is the alternating points of view that not only contribute to the complexity of this story, but also show how one long time rivalry can alter so many people and where the collateral damage changes the lives of everyone involved. Readers will love all the characters and the love that develops between the two main characters. However, what they won’t expect is the ending where a lifetime of deception and secrets finally come to a rather fitting end.

-Deb T., Santa Catalina and Linda Vista