Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus.
Again I’m going to be really quick with this one, because I’m just cruising through as much contemporary magical realism as I can for the sake of my own publishing.
My brother recommended Night Circus and mentioned how beautiful he thought Morgenstern’s writing was. And it is–she has a knack for describing beautiful, dreamlike, magical objects and images. Nevertheless I couldn’t help feel that there could have been 50 fewer pages of that. That’s a taste thing–extensive description has always sort of put me to sleep. I read for plot.
As far as the plot goes, I basically liked it, although the inevitable, kind of sappy “their love wins out” kind of bored me. By the end I was really waiting for the book to just finish. Love stories might be the hardest stories to write, but I think the expectation that love should conquer all really kills them. Love doesn’t conquer all. Love is no different from any other element of experience. Like any other brick of experience: it is fragile and irrelevant in the face of the great weight of the entire brick wall.