I’ve been on something on a book hiatus for the past couple of years. Writing my own novel and trying to finish it probably had a lot to do with that. However, my lack of reading started to worry me; at first, I felt guilty, then I started to miss it. Last year, I picked up A Wrinkle In Time for the first time (in preparation for seeing the film), followed quickly by Neverwhere (my first Gaiman novel) since there was a staged production coming up near me. I rounded out this set of books with Robin Sloan’s Sourdough, and each of these books were fantastic, in their own, unique way. All three deserve their own book reviews (coming soon, I hope) and all three were delicious reading experiences. They suited me perfectly and, with their powers combined, they sucked me back into the world of reading. I found myself seeking a new book that would ring similar tones to Neverwhere, thus I landed on The Night Circus. It’s been on my TBR list for years. I can remember seeing it on a shelf in a local indie bookstore in Vermont back in the summer of 2012, thinking, I really should get a move on with this.
Immediately after starting this book, I said to myself, “I can see what all the hype was about.” There had been a reputation surrounding this book since publication, or so it seemed. It had given me pause (much in the way Harry Potter had done), and considering the inside cover sells the idea that this book rides on a romance, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Even when I carried this book out of the library, a girl passed me, doubled back, and told me how wonderful it was. From the first few pages, I could feel the strength of the story, and the control Morgenstern has with her words, with her craft. Even more delightfully, that sense of wonder and immersion continued through to the end of the book. I kept worrying that it would fall apart, that the book would run out of steam and turn out to be a dud, but it follows through.
Also, the audiobook is brilliant, spectacularly narrated by Jim Dale.
Verdict: I enjoyed reading this story tremendously and I can’t wait to see what Erin Morgenstern comes up with next.