Written by Sarah Yoon
Donned in the black, white and red of the Reveurs, Book Club joined to discuss The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Some of the girls hadn’t found the time to finish the book, but they were willing to discuss it in its entirety—spoilers included—which made thoughtful discussion possible for the group as a whole.
Morgenstern builds her story around a competition. The instigators don’t explain the rules, but instead train the players in the magical arts and leave them to discover the game along the way. As I explained in “Pacing your Plot with Tension and Rest,” the story both entices and mystifies: “The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern builds very slowly, but an aura of mystery keeps the reader begging for more. Morgenstern rests and revels in describing the circus, but continually plants more questions in your mind throughout, answering them in her own time. As secrets are answered, the awareness of more secrets only draws you further in. About halfway through, you see the world start to crumble around the characters, and you feel the floor slowly break under your feet.”
So, let’s talk about it!
- Is the circus good? Do you think that it should continue? An air of mystery and darkness surrounds the circus, yet it has an intense beauty. Even though death haunts it in one form or another, the cast members still insist that cannot end.
- Are you a wandering Reveur or do you return to reality when the gates close for the night? The circus is a place of dreams—the most intense form of escapism. The Reveurs see this as a chance to continually experience new wonders, but others simply enjoy it and return home to a newly enriched reality.
- How do Celia and Marco fall in love? Since these characters are separate for the majority of the book, it seems odd that they fall so deeply in love. But the mystery of their competition may link them in more than one way.
- Why is timing important? Various characters mention the importance of timing throughout the story yet never give a straight answer as to why. Can you read the clues and discover the heart of this theme?
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