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Reader’s Den

Reader's Den: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Week 1


"The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not." Erin Morgenstern's literary debut, The Night Circus, begins with this intoxicating passage before ushering readers inside the tent flaps of Le Circque des Rêves, the Circus of Dreams.

For two young children, Marco and Celia, the dreams may turn to nightmares or fulfill their sweet promise as the two meet in a magical competition arranged by their adoptive fathers. Celia's guardian, Prospero the Enchanter, has raised and trained her in abusive fashion, grinding her into his instrument for this contest. Marco's teacher Alexander, a.k.a. the man in the gray suit is equally stern if less abusive, and the two youngsters are set loose to compete, each without knowing who the other is. The inevitable ensues and the resulting love story is poignant, tragic and ephemeral, much like the enchanted circus itself with its enchanted clock.

Marco and Celia move forward with their competition, heeding and defying their fathers as each weaves greater enchantments in the name of victory. How do you think their relations with their teachers helped the story and their love affair develop? Chime in below and we'll see you next week for another installment.


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