I’m not one to really get sucked into books that are classified as one of the following: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, “Chick Lit”, or, my personal favorite, Romantica (think lonely everyday women meeting, falling in love with, and being ravaged by really hunky aliens). There are, of course, exceptions – well, except for with Romantica – so I always keep an open mind when considering a future read.
This past weekend, I came across a copy of The Boston Phoenix featuring Erin Morgenstern on the cover. I actually passed by this issue a few times during my walk downtown, each time drawn back to the cover, which has a picture of Morgenstern in a field, holding a crystal ball, the words The Enchantress right next to her face. Seeing that this enchantress was a local author, I quickly snatched up a copy and sat down to look through the article.
The book is called The Night Circus and, after reading the article, I popped into a Hallmark store to see if they had a copy on the shelves. Luckily for me, they did. I wasn’t sold on buying it yet (it’s hardcover, roughly $26.00), but the book nerd in me just wanted to hold it, to feel its weight, and to scope out the design. While I can’t vouch for how excellent a novel it is yet (though if you pick up a copy of The Boston Phoenix or read any review, other people will fill you in), I can tell you that this is possibly one of the most stunning hardcovers that I have ever held. I could have fallen for it so hard because I’m a big fan of stripes and very much enjoy black, white, and red together, but I felt a draw to purchase it immediately based off the look alone.
Morgenstern is from Marshfield, MA, recently lived in Salem, now in the North End. Attended school at Smith College. She’s as local as you can get and I’m a big fan of supporting local talent and artists. What’s most inspiring to me, as a girl who would love to be a published author someday, is that going into working on this novel, she wasn’t a writer. The novel spawned from her partaking in National Novel Writing Month in 2003. She didn’t finish the novel in the thirty days (who does?), but she stuck with it, fleshed out the characters, and eventually came to find a setting and a solid plot. And now she has a highly regarded novel published and it looks like the story will also be turned into a film.
Below is the novel blurb, which will provide you with a quick background of the story:
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.
Sounds slightly fantastical, but due to her inspirational (personal) story, the fact that she is local, and the fact that, yes, sometimes I do judge a book by its cover, I plan on picking up a copy this week and beginning it once I finish the novel that I am currently working on. I hope that you are inspired to do the same!