TNCI have turned back to fiction to help me pass the cold winter nights here in the north country of New Hampshire.  I usually steer clear of the popular novels of the day, you know the ones that end up on everybody’s lists and become the favorites of the cul-de-sac book clubs (i.e., The Help).  That being said, there is usually a reason this type of book is popular, as they are often entertaining and sometimes even genuinely good.

One such book is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which has been receiving a lot of attention since its publication – with readers, critics and award committees.  I was intrigued by the book’s premise: a traveling circus that comes and goes without warning and is only open at night.

I picked up the The Night Circus (Kindle version), despite the kudos and recommendations I read about it, and was totally charmed.

About The Night Circus: “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.”

The circus is a backdrop to a fantastical competition and romance, featuring a gallery of interesting characters and settings that more than entertain the reader.  As much as I tend to avoid popular fiction, I also generally do not care for stories that involve the mystical and the occult.  However, a good story and well developed characters can go a long way in entertaining even a crank like me.  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is definitely a novel to put on your late winter reading short list.

The Night Circus is available form Amazon and other fine retailers.