On a quietly rolling train I traveled through London, Dublin, Munich, Massachusetts and New York too. The title of the novel, THE NIGHT CIRCUS by ERIN MORGENSTERN describes when the circus begins to give out tickets and start the acts. Yes, only at night can the splendor of the black and white striped tents become real beauties. In each tent there are wonderful dreamy fantasies to ogle over and enjoy.
"At midnight, the bonfire is ceremoniously lit, having spent the earlier part of the evening standing empty, appearing to be a simple sculpture of twisted iron. Twelve of the fire performers...enter with small platforms that they set up along the perimeter like numbers on a clock. At thirty seconds before midnight, they light the tips of their arrows with small dancing yellow flames....As the clock begins to chime near the gates, the first archer lets his arrow fly, soaring over the crowd and hitting the mark in a shower of sparks."
However, The Night Circus is uniquely different for another reason. It is a deadly competition between Marco and Celia. Mixed with this very serious competition is the throb of eternal romance and true love. Will love win or war?
"Celia wishes she could freeze time as she listens to the steady beat of Marco's heart against the ticking of the clock. To stay forever with this moment, curled in his arms, his hands softly stroking her back. To not have to leave."
I hated to leave the circus for a different reason. I enjoyed meeting the other passionate lovers of the circus. In order to recognize one another these special spectators wore red: a red hankie, a red rose or perhaps a red scarf. I chose to wear a fire engine red sequined belt.
After one night of sleep, I still can clearly see Isobel, the Fortune Teller, flashing her cards. Tsukiko contorting her body with its wildly flashing tattoo and of course Fredrick Thiessen, the intelligent and gifted clockmaker. Whom will I not remember? I will remember all of these characters especially Bailey. I hope the best of success to Bailey. I truly think he made the right decision.
One question still haunts me. Did I travel to a circus or did I travel only in my dreams? Since ERIN MORGENSTERN is especially wonderful at painting with words, I might never know the answer.
"You think, as you walk away from Le Cirque des Reves and into the creeping dawn, that you felt more awake within the confines of the circus. You are no longer quite certain which side of the fence is the dream." erinmorgensternthe-night-circus