The Night Circus

Are There Lesbians? Yes

What Happens?
Bound to each other from birth, Marcus and Celia are told only that they are the players of a game from which only one can emerge the victor, but with no knowledge of either rules or winning requirements the two become irrevocably tied to Le Cirque des Rêves. As the game progresses the circus becomes chessboard and, eventually, courting arena, for the two players while the fate of not only the players but the circus and its inhabitants hangs in a delicate balance.

The Verdict:
I liked The Night Circus, I really did. But there was something about the ending that left me deeply unsatisfied, even with several days to think about it. Perhaps I need to read it again, pick up any missing pieces that were left in the lurch on my first read through, or any explanations provided to one with foreknowledge of the ending (something heavily foreshadowed throughout the novel).

The main relationship is a heterosexual one, so the lesbian take a backseat, or at least the fact that she is one does – it is simply not the most extraordinary thing about her. So have fun guessing who it is, although it’s my personal theory that there’s more than one but this is unfortunately never addressed. It is, however, a delightfully emotional time trying to work out how these star crossed lovers will eventually be together, even if I was today reminded of the similarities it bears to this Hark! A Vagrant comic:

(I would like to state for the record that Celia and Marco are nothing like Heathcliff and Cathy and are very much in love before they even meet)

The writing is luxurious, with plenty of thick description of clothing and scenery and evocative images of the contents of circus tents. Le Cirque des Rêves is a beautifully created world and it is an easy one to imagine yourself in – no wonder characters fall in love with it so easily, when you can do so just reading about it… I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to actually be there (or perhaps I can, thus being the duty of the reader, to make real what the writer envisions).

Despite being left feeling a little uneasy and incomplete, I can do nothing but recommend The Night Circus as highly as possible. It was a true joy to read and a privilege to experience its world.

 

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