Book #5 (June) – The Night Circus


** I’ve started a new Facebook-based book club! Learn more HERE.**

This month’s book is: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern!


Summary (by BN.com):

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.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Discussion Questions (Warning: Spoilers Ahead!)

 

Before Reading:

 

1. Having not read the story, what would you assume is a “night circus?” How do you feel about a circus only open at night?

2. What is your first impression of the cover design?

 

Anticipation:

 

3. In the beginning passages, the author uses second person (the word “you”) to make you feel as though you are one of the people watching this site unfold in your own neighborhood. Do you feel as though you are really there? How is this kind of writing useful to an author/reader?

 

Part I:

 

4. Based on the sudden presence of Prospero’s daughter, what kind of relationship do you think they had in the past? For what reason would he have left his daughter?

5. How do you feel about Prospero using his daughter’s abilities for his own gain?

6. Why might “Alexander” have changed his name?

7. Do you agree with Alexander that names are not as important as people might think?

8. In what way do you suppose Celia and the boy might be bound?

9. Who do you think Isobel is and what role do you think she will play in Marco’s life?

10. Do agree with what Celia and her father say about communicating with spirits? Or do you believe the dead can be contacted through mediums, etc.?

11. Between the chapters that tell the story of The Night Circus are descriptions of the circus itself, written as if you are visiting it right now. What do these chapters add to the story?

12. What role might Bailey play in the coming chapters?

13. Why does Mme. Padva refer to Chandresh’s idea as a game?

14. Celia replies that she is already married after reading the letters sent to her after her father’s death. Why does Celia believe she is married?

15. What might be the purpose of the clock made by Friedrick Thiessen?

16. What do you think of the official meeting of Celia and Marco?

17. What do you think will become of Isobel? Will she be caught in a love triangle between Marco and Celia?

 

 

Part II:

 

18. How might the burning of Marco’s notebook effect certain people of the circus?

19. Earlier in the book, neither Celia or her father Hector believed that the living could communicate with ghosts and took advantage of people looking for closure with their dearly departed. Despite this, Hector returns as a ghost and Celia is able to see and talk to him. How might this be possible?

20. What does the disappearance of the hair bracelet mean for Isobel and Marco?

21. So far no straight answer has been given about the “game” between Celia and Marco. What do you think the game actually is? How will the winner be determined?

22. What do you think of Widget and Poppet’s new powers? Will these powers be useful later in the book?

23. What do you think of Marco’s description of the game being a balance of scales?

24. After Marco leaves the tent, Isobel pulls a card from her tarot deck showing an angel. What might this symbol mean? Who is the symbol meant for?

25. Why are Frederick Thiessen and the reveurs important to the story? Why do you think some people were so entranced by the circus that they devoted themselves to following it around?

26. Now that Celia knows who her opponent is, what do you think of their meeting in the rain compared to their first meeting back at the auditions?

27. What do you think of Bailey’s encounter with Isobel? What might happen between him and Poppet, the red-haired girl?

28. What might the red that Poppet sees represent?

29. Tara mentions that she looks in the mirror only to see a face that hasn’t aged with her. Why might she not have aged? Do you think others in the story haven’t aged, either?

30. What do you think of Tara’s unexpected death? Was this somehow foreshadowed in previous chapters?

Book Club Discussion: Describe your most memorable circus experience. Was it anything like the circus in the book?

31. While having dinner with Celia, Friedrick states, “I prefer to remain unenlightened, to better appreciate the dark.” How do you feel about this outlook on life?

32. Besides not aging, circus members are also kept from getting sick. How do you feel about this manipulation? Would you be a part of a circus where you never aged or got sick?

33. Do you think Marco’s tampering of the fire was the reason for Tara’s death? Besides the Murray twins, what other repercussions might come of this?

34. What are your thoughts on the late night meeting of Marco and Celia? Are you for or against them falling in love?

 

Part III:

 

35. Why do you think Alexander doesn’t have a shadow?

36. Why might Marco have collected hair samples for his book?

37. How do you feel now knowing how Celia’s father really died? Do you think what he has done is different than that of being a ghost or spirit?

38. Poppet explains to Bailey that he is important in keeping the circus alive. After reading this, in what role now do you think Bailey might play? Will his new arrival in the circus affect the competition between Celia and Marco?

 39. Two characters have now died – Tara, who had a small part in the story, and Friedrick who had a larger part of the story. Why do you think the author chose to cut these two characters from the story?

40. What do you think of Celia and Marco’s love for each other? Is it true love or is one of them playing with the other to win the game?

Book Club Discussion #2: Have you ever dreamed of a love like the kind Celia or Marco have? Do you believe in love at first sight or fairytale loves?

 

Part IV:

 

41. Do you think Bailey’s new role in the circus was a good choice, or do you find it unfair that he got stuck in the so-called game? If you were Bailey, would you devote your life to the circus to help Celia and Marco?

42. What do you believe truly happened to Celia and Marco? Do you think the outcome was a happy ending? What would you liked to have happen between them?

43. What do you think will happen with the circus and the people within the circus over time?

 

Other Questions:

 

44. What was your favorite part of the circus? Which character would you most want to meet? Which tent would you most want to visit? Which food sounded most appealing?

45. Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

 

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46 responses to “Book #5 (June) – The Night Circus

  1. Just picked the book up from the library. I think a night circus would have more magic and mystery than a regular circus. It would have things to keep the spectators guessing about what would happen next – it also might be a bit scary and not suitable for children.
    I have a different cover design – it has quite an old fashioned feel to it. It is as if it is set in the early 1900’s judging by the outline of the clothes the 2 people are wearing.
    It should be an interesting read.

  2. 1. A night circus sounds very mysterious and magical! It makes you think that things may go on here that do not normally happen in the daylight.
    2. The cover is perfect for the title. It’s a little bit mysterious, but also fun and whimsical!
    3. I always like when an author does this. It really feels as if you are about to be told a fascinating story, it really draws you into the story.

  3. #1 Just picked this up at the library. Night Circus sounds dreamlike and haunting. Also deep and rich, possibly like the subconscious.

    #3 I put a hold on this book at my library, and when it came in, I planned to read a few pages before actually getting it….it just didn’t sound like a genre that would engage me. BUT, it was that introductory few pages that grabbed my attention. Reading a bit further, I feel sure that it will draw me in even further.

    Looking forward to a good story!

  4. #4 I don’t think he had much of a relationship with her at all. It seems like he may have left early on. Possibly the union with his mother was casual and uncommited. As well, he definitely does not seem to be a man to stay in one place and raise a family.

    #5 Prospero’s use of his daughter is not only exploitive but abusive as well.

    #6 I think it as simple as the fact that con men lie. Changing names is an efficient way to avoid consequences and responsibilities.

    #7 I think names are very very important. They identify us and become part of us.

    #8 Well it seems that Celia and the boy are bound by that weird ring. But they are also bound by karma. Or they could be “true soulmates.”

    #9 At this point I am just assuming that Isabel and Marco are Celia and the boy.

    #10 I think the dead can be contacted through what remains of them in the hearts of those that loved them. Most “real” mediums can gather information from the soul/heart/consciousness of the living. This energy can effectively become an authentic communication with the departed.That’s how I understand it. Of course that is not how it is being used in this story.

  5. I picked up the book from the library yesterday and they gave me 14 days to read it 😦 not fair.
    1. I assume a night circus would be something mysterious or having to do with the paranormal. I think it would be interesting to have a circus open only at night.
    2. my first impression of the cover was mysterious and kinda gothic feel to it.

  6. 1. I think a circus only open at night would be interesting. They’d probably have acts and performers doing things that were more scary than fun for kids.

    2. My first impression of the cover design was that it was magical. But not a happy magic, a darker magic.

    3. Yes! I definitely felt like I was there! It really pulled me in. I think it’s useful for authors because it makes readers want to read their books.

    4. I think they didn’t have much of a relationship at all. She probably knew about her father, but nothing really about what he did.

    5. I think its selfish and cruel. She spent her childhood being his pawn for some game, and never really got to play or experience life as a child.

    6. He probably changed his name because he didn’t want anyone to know the kinds of things he did.

    7. No, I think names are very important. Its how we identify with each other. Could you imagine a world where nobody had a name?

    8. I’d say they are probably bound romantically, more than they are bound to this so called game.

    9. At first, I thought she was Celia but with a different name…but now I’m not so sure. I’d say she plays a romantic role in his life.

    10. I’m not sure. I believe in ghosts, so I’m sure there is a way to contact the dead.

    11. I think they make you feel as though you are apart of the story.

  7. 1. I think that :Night Circus” sounds mysterious and intriguing. I do not know what to expect from this book. But I like how it’s named. I like mysterious things. I’d like to go to the circus, which working only at night. Certainly there shows something very interesting and unusual.
    2. Cover design seemed to me little unusual. Not only black and white, but with accents of red colour. I thought about blood. 🙂
    3. I think it’s good that author use a personal applying. Such way let him reveal this book for us deeper and more infatuate.

  8. 4. I picture the relationship between Celia’s mother and Prospero being a short relationship (like a “May-December” type of romance. Obviously, he had no part in Celia’s life until she shows up at his door.

    5. Of course, I think it’s awful and wicked of him.

    6. I think he’s up to no good, so people like that need to change their names to stay hidden.

    7. I think names are very important. I agree with other comments in that they help give us an identity and also play a part in who we are as a person.

    8. As the readers, we know they are bound to do this “challenge” together, but I think we will find out they are bound in more ways than that.

    9. I thought maybe she was Celia, but as I read more I think she may be a different person. I don’t know what role she’ll play other than maybe giving Marco some romantic experience before he meets Celia, unless she is Celia…

    10. I also believe in ghosts and the afterlife, so yes, I do believe they can be contacted.

    11. I really like how it feels so magical like some unseen narrator is drawing you in. It also serves as a reminder of the intriguing night circus we were introduced to in the beginning of the story.

    12. I think he will revisit the night circus and maybe even meet up with Marco and Celia in some way. Maybe he will become friends with the girl he met.

    13. I’m not sure, she must know something about him that we don’t.

    14. She probably thinks it’s a sort of arranged marriage, when really it’s some sort of “challenge.”

    15. The clock sounds beautiful, by the way, but I think it’s purpose will be to mark the time that the night circus is open for business. Since it says that by morning it is all folded up again and looks like a regular clock. All the beautiful images only show themselves during the night hours.

  9. 3. Yes! I like the way it helps draw you into the book even more than other book that don’t do that.
    4. based on her age there is no real relationship between him and his daughter and I think he left his daughter to pursue his career.
    5. I think it’s exploitive, selfish and cruel
    6. To stay hidden, to hide one’s past, to add to his illusion
    7. I also agree with the other comments about how they make us who we are.
    8. currently they are bound by the ring and the challenge but later in the book they will be bound by love and much more.
    9. I don’t think Isobel and Celia are the same but I could be wrong and she might play a small romantic role in his life.
    10. I also believe in ghosts and the afterlife and I do believe there are various forms of communication but mediums are not my favorite
    11. I like how it reminds you of the night circus and how it keeps drawing you into the story.
    12. I think he might end up working for the circus and maybe making friends with Celia, Marco and the girl he met.

  10. 12. I think he will run away to the circus or start working there.

    13. Maybe Chandresh has come up with silly ideas like this in the past.

    14. She probably believes she is married because of the scar from the ring. Maybe she thinks being bound to her opponent is similar to being bound to someone in marriage.

    15. I think it is merely decoration, but it could prove to have some sort of magical ability, like to freeze time within the circus.

    16. I think its kind of funny them meeting that way. Sort of sad though that Celia doesn’t realize Marco is her opponent yet, but Marco knows his opponent is Celia.

    17. I’m hoping Isobel goes away. I don’t really like her.

  11. 1. I think it would be something dark and mysterious. Something that kids are not allowed to see yet.

    2. I love the cover design. It looks really attractive.

    3. I felt I was really there and it really attracted me more to the book. This made me want to read the book even more.

  12. 18. I really don’t know why the burning of Marco’s books affected people but it somehow did. I’m not really sure what it was he wrote in the books that caused things to happen.

    19. Perhaps this is in her head because she is an illusionist? Kind of silly to be saying you cant communicate with ghosts and then communicate with one. But I do recall at one point her father was acting weird and doing something with his arm in his room. Maybe he was trying to figure out how to turn himself into a ghost after his death?

    20. I’d say its over for the both of them.

    21. I really don’t know what the game is or might be. It seems as if it has been dragged out for so long already.

    22. I think their powers are interesting. I think they’ll be able to predict when someone is dying…

    23. I guess this makes more sense about the game, but I still don’t understand how a winner will be chosen.

    24. I’m thinking the angel might be for her, and it probably symbolizes the end of their relationship.

    25. I really couldn’t say why they are important. They seem like just average circus attendees. Some people probably have no life, or enjoy the constant new-ness of the circus.

    26. I think they just need to admit they love each other already. My gosh.

    27. Perhaps he will fall in love with Poppet?

  13. 13. the way she phrases it it seems like he’s done some silly stuff before
    14. because she is bound to someone by the ring she also believes they are married.
    15. I would love to have a clock like that. I think it adds to the mysteriousness of the circus or to let people know when the circus opens and closes.
    16. it’s interesting how they meet but it’s sad Celia doesn’t reconize Marco
    17. I think Isobel and Marco will end up drifting apart before anything happens with Celia and Marco.

  14. 4. I think it wasn’t a real relationship. I think he kind of used her because of her talents, so he can get better.

    5. I think it is cruel and really selfish.

    6. I think so the people they knew would not find out what he did.

    7. I don’t agree on that because it is a way to identify people.

    8. I think it could go two ways; he could be involved in the game or they might have a romantically relationship later in the future.

    9. I think she will be like a girlfriend to Marco.

    10. I am not so sure about this. Sometimes I have a really strong feeling there is more, because what me and my family experienced on the day my grandma died. But I can also be very sceptical about this.

    11. To me it is a good description of how everything looks like. So in the rest of the story I can see a good image in my head how it should look like.

    12. I think he might get involved in the circus or the game in some way.

    13. I am not so sure about this. Maybe she knows something more than we do.

    14. Maybe she feels like she is so stuck in this challenge/game thing, that she feels like she is married to it because she has no time for other things.

    15. I think it might have a big role in the game.

    16. I think it is a bit unfair that Marco knows all this time it’s Celia, but Celia doesn’t realize this yet.

    17. I think her relationship with Marco wasn’t that serious to him. So I think she will end up alone.

  15. 1. The circus would only be open at night, it would somehow be different from other circuses. They’d have an opportunity to do interesting things with lighting that you can’t do during the day.
    2. I think the cover design is beautiful.
    3. It actually made me cautious. They want to draw me into this, but I’m careful.

  16. Before Reading:

    1. A Night circus would be open at night, only. a dreamy circus. Clouds…

    2. I do love the Cover, also the stripes inside the first pages…

    3. I like that writing style very much. In the beginning those pages are great, but as more as i was into the book, they interferer the story.

  17. Caz81

    1. To me, a night circus seems really mysterious and almost like it’s a big secret that can’t be revealed during the daytime.

    2.I really loved the cover, especially the black spine. It gave the book an added look of mystery and made me more intrigued to get started on it.

  18. 18. The burning of Marco’s book makes certain circus people connected to their game.
    19. I honestly don’t think he’s actually dead I think it’s an illusion due to earlier in the book he was trying to make himself invisable
    20. It’s completely over for them
    21. I think the game has to do with the illusions they can create and i’m not sure how the winner will be determined
    22. I like that they both have different powers and I think they will come in very usefull later in the book.
    23. I’m guessing that when one makes a move the other has to make a move
    24. It symbolizes the end of their relationship and it’s ment for Isobel.
    25. I think there important because they keep attendance up at the circus by word of mouth and just being there. Some people enjoy something so much that they have to be at every performance some might be obessive about it
    26. so cute I like that they reconized each other in this meeting and he offered to talk and take her for a drink.
    27. Bailey’s meeting with Isobel made no sense. I hope that he and Poppit meet and maybe fall in love.
    28. the red that Poppet sees might represent a coming death or a love that might happen.

  19. 28. I think the red Poppet sees is blood or death.

    29. I think there is some sort of spell cast over the circus that keeps them from aging.

    30. I think Tara’s death was foreshadowed when Poppet said she didn’t want the lady to die, or be buried in the ground.

    Book Club Discussion: I only went to the circus once when I was a kid and thought it was fun. I remember getting a fiber-optic light and cotton candy when I was there. Today though, I wouldn’t support circuses because they mistreat animals.

    31. I use this outlook all the time. Sometimes it’s better to pretend and ignore the truth than to find out all of the bad things that really happened.

    32. I think it would be nice to not have to age or ever get sick, but that would also mean being tied to a circus forever which is not something I’d want to do.

    33. I think Marco’s fire was keeping everybody safe and together, but now I think it will start bringing everybody apart.

    34. Definitely for them falling in love!

    35. I don’t know why he doesn’t have a shadow, because he’s not a ghost or anything.

    36. I think the hair samples were ways of connecting to the actual people.

    37. I think what he did was sort of stupid, trying to avoid death this way. Now, he’s stuck being a ghost forever.

    38. I think he will be the new owner of the circus, and I definitely believe he will be able to help Celia and Marco.

    39. I think the author cut these two characters from the story to show how easily they could die. Nobody was truly safe within the circus, and it shows how the circus weighed on these people. It was interesting though, because one really loved the circus and the other began to feel the pressure of the circus.

    40. I think it is true love for sure. What a romance these two have!

    Book Club Discussion #2: Every girl believes in fairytale loves and wants a love like the kind Marco and Celia have. I believe fairytale loves exist, but they are very…very rare.

    41. I think it’s unfair that Bailey had to be sucked into the game the way he did. I would have wished that the curse of the game could be eliminated and not transferred to somebody else. I think what he did was very brave.

    42. I was confused about this part. I know they are very happy together, which is a wonderful thing, but I wish they were actually real forms, instead of more ghostly ones. Maybe when they see each other they look whole and real, but to everyone else they are ghosts.

    43. I think it will go on until Bailey is too old to do it anymore and then he might transfer it to his own children or to somebody else.

    44. I think the ice garden sounded cool, as did the illusionist. I probably would have tried the chocolate mice!

    45. I would definitely recommend this book. Best book I’ve ever read.

  20. 29. either the burning of Marco’s notebook has stopped the aging process for the circus people or the game that Marco and Celia are playing may contribute to their prediciment.
    30. I think it was when poppet said she didn’t want the lady to die and also when she sees red.
    Book Club Discussion: I’ve never been to a circus sorry about that
    31. I agree sometimes it’s more fun to be in the dark than it is in the light
    32. I think the manipulation is wrong to force upon unsuspecting people and no I would not want to live forever even if it meant never being unhealthy or getting broken bones.
    33. I do not believe it caused Tara’s death I believe it kept them safe in a way and now it might do the oppisite and cause everything to fall apart.
    34. I am very definitely for them falling in love.
    35. he might have traded his shadow to gain more power or because he has no soul these are my guesses
    36. I really don’t know why he would have hair samples.
    37. I think it could have been done better and now he is like a spirit without a shell or a power source as they put it
    38. I think he will keep things from falling apart, and I believe he will be able to help Marco and Celia

  21. 18. I don’t really know. Probably because he enchanted in a way that it effects the people, but how I don’t know.

    19. I think it could also be him living in her memory somehow.

    20. It’s the end of their relationship.

    21. I think it is some sort of battle where one will live and one will die.

    22. I think they are very interesting and a good addition to the book. I think they can somehow predict the winner of the game.

    23. I guess that it sort of right. One makes a move, the other one makes a move.

    24. I think it might mean that he loses the game and will die.

    25. I don’t really know why they are so important.

    26. They have to admit to each other that they like each other!

    27. I think they will be a couple later on.

    28. The ending of the battle?

    29.I think the people in the circus are somehow enchanted that they don’t age. Otherwise a lot of the members would have died through the story.

    30. I think that Poppet saw it coming.

    Book Club Discussion: I have been to the circus once in my life, however I was so young that I can’t remember it!

    31. I can kind of agree with that. I sometimes ignore the truth and what’s real.

    32. To not become sick at all sounds fine to me, but not aging sounds horrible. It means that you could live for a very long time and that sounds a bit boring.

    33. Yes, to keep everyone together.

    34. I am not so sure if I trust Marco. I am not sure whether he is really falling in love with her or pretending he is for the sake of the battle.

    35. I don’t really know.

    36. Maybe to be able to control people?

    37. Sometimes it frustrates me because I want to know what really happened. I think he did something and he knew it would possibly end not well.

    38. I think he might be a new challenger in the game. He might have to battle with Poppet.

    39. I am not so sure why the author chose Tara to die. However I think she chose Friedrick so she could show the reader what the circus can do to people.

    40. I am still not so sure if it is true love from Marco. I somehow don’t trust him.

    Book Club Discussion #2: I haven’t really. And I am not so sure if I believe in it. I have seen many many relationships end around me in a horrible way.

  22. Caz81

    3. I really have felt that I am there by the way the author speaks in third party

    4. Prospero seems to have a very casual relationship towards his daughter, it seems likely that his relationship with her mother was just a very short and casual one.

    5. I think it’s cruel and selfish of Prospero to use his daughter for his own gain but even in the few short chapters that I’ve read, he seems to be a very selfish man

  23. 1. I am not very fond of a circus. But last month I wrote a story for a writing contest about a circus and it was fun. I am a bit afraid of clowns, so a circus at night is for me not an option
    2. The cover is great. I like black and white very much. I am reading the Duch version and there the cover is different. It’s blue. Also great.

  24. Akitoyo/Valerie:

    1. I think the most obvious explanation is indeed a circus which is open only it at night-times.
    I left other options open in my mind as well. Maybe it could have been about a very ‘dark, mysterious’ circus or about a closed circus,…

    At least I can say that a circus which is open at night is weird. I think we all agree on that :). I don’t really support the idea. Personally, I would never go to a circus at night. That would be waaay to scary!

    2. I really like the cover. It’s modern and attractive. It gives a mystical, mysterious impressions. Exact the impression you get when you start reading the book for the first time.

    3. I’m not sure if I have ever read a book where the author uses the second person. In this case I really liked it. First I was a bit afraid that the whole book would be in second person, but that turned out well, haha.
    In this case, it was really intriguing. It made me feel like I was there. It absorbed me totally and it was a hard shock to realise that I wasn’t there, but actually in my couch at home =).

  25. 39. I think Tara died because she was getting to curious about certain things but I have no idea why Friedrick had to die.
    40. I believe it’e true love for them.
    Book Club Discussion #2 I believe in love at first sight and Fairytale romances but those are also very rare.
    41. I believe it was his choice and that he was very brave fo rmaking it. If i was Bailey I probably would help out Marco and Celia but being me it would be a 50/50 as i’m so flighty.
    42. I don’t believe that they are dead in a different form maybe but not dead, I also believe they are finally happy, I also wish there was a way they could come back in there original forms.
    43. I think it will continue till it can’t anymore
    44. The wishing tree was my favorite part of the circus, I would like to meet Poppit and Widget, mmmmm chocolate mice sound so yummy
    45. Yes I definitely recomened this book to my friends and probably complete strangers, why? because it has a little bit of everything mystery, fantasy, good story plot, and there’s not too much romance it’s the right amount.

  26. 41. I think it was a good choice, because he loves the circus so much and has some good friends in there. I’m not sure if I would have done the same, but I think there might be a way out for him too.

    42. I got a bit confused here, because you don’t really know if they are still alive or living as a spirit.

    43. I think it will keep going on/

    44. I really liked how the show of the illusionist sounded. So I’d love to meet her. The stargazer sounded great as well. And all the food sounded yummeh!

    45. I would because to my surprise I really liked the book!

  27. 16. I thought it was interesting that Marco knew she was his opponent right away, but Celia didn’t sense anything. I wish she would have known too.

    17. A love triangle is always a possibility.

    18. Perhaps it releases magic, so that some people who are sensitive to that sort of thing will be more affected by it.

    19. I think Hector’s magic powers have everything to do with it. He’s probably perfected it through magic.

    20. I think Marco will start to fall out of love with her or start to lose interest in her.

    21. I have absolutely no idea what this “game” is. I’ve been thinking about it too, and I just don’t know! Is it a “show-off your magical talents” game or is it going to turn into some sort of battle where one of them may die?

    22. I like their powers, and they balance each other. One can see the future and one can see the past. So I’m sure it will prove useful in Celia and Marco’s “game” somehow.

    23. Just like any game, they will take turns and keep the scales balanced.

    24. I think it may symbolize Celia in some way. Like she will save Marco or something like that.

    25. I think they are important because they ground the story and make it seem more real. Of course, such a magical and wonderful circus would have a devoted following. Lots of entertainers have followings.

    26. I think that now she is starting to question his motives and that’s why she doesn’t go have a drink with him.

    27. I was so happy they met again and I hope that they fall in love!

    28. I think it represents blood spilled.

    29. I think they have been enchanted to not age.

    30. I think she started to question too much and I think Mr. A H– made her step into the path of the train by manipulating her. But I think Poppet predicted it.

    Book Club Discussion: I have actually never been to a circus before!! I’ve been to fairs and festivals with circus-type acts and foods, but never the real thing. At the fairs, I’ve been too when I was a kid, I always liked the tent full of oddities, like a “real mermaid” and cow with two heads. They were all fake, of course.

    31. I think it’s a good outlook to have, based on the situation. In this situation, it’s good because if you knew all the secrets of the circus, it wouldn’t hold the same mystique or magical qualities.

    32. Well, who wouldn’t want to age or never get sick? It sounds wonderful, but then I would be hesitant because everything always comes with a price.

    33. I don’t think Marco caused her death. I think she just started to figure out too much because maybe she was resistant to a point, to the magic.

    34. I thought it was all very romantic and I do hope they fall in love.

    35. All I can think of is that it shows he is evil. Just like vampires don’t have a reflection in a mirror. Something about him is not right….

  28. Just finished the book tonight (while in the bath!) and really enjoyed it. It was a very strange love story that maybe will last forever – I quite like that idea although not being physically present with other people would be odd. I enjoyed the story line as it kept you thinking about what was going to happen and the complicated characters of this novel were very interesting.
    I actually didn’t like the parts where the author wrote in the third person. I found it a little disjointing and I think I prefer books to be written in the same person.
    My grandparents used to take my sister and I to the circus in the tower at Blackpool in England as children. This was a long time ago but I remember it clearly as it was such a huge treat. I am not sure children of today would appreciate a circus as much – perhaps too grown up!
    I would not get involved in medium’s as I feel there are many things we do not understand (and are not supposed to) and sometimes it is best to leave well alone.
    I would recommend this book as an interesting and enjoyable read.

  29. 1.) I only remember going to a circus in the evening, so I am not quite sure about the whole night circus thing.

    2.) The cover is pretty interesting looking and looks very unusual.

    3.) The author making it seem like the reader is at the site of where the circus appeared is a good way to make the reader want to know more about the story. I could definitely imagine being there in person.

    4.) I don’t think Prospero knew he had a daughter until she was brought to him.

    5.) It’s very selfish for Prospero to use his daughter as a pawn in his game.

    6.) Alexander probably changed his name because he doesn’t want people to find him easily or know who he is.

    7.) I disagree with Alexander, because names are what defines us.

  30. My answers!

    I have waited until I finished the entire book before I started on these questions, as I do not like spoilers of any kind. That is why my answers are coming relatively late. Also, my answers might be a bit different because I answer them with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. 😉
    1. A night circus is a circus that only exists at night, so.. in your dreams only. When it’s an actual circus that only opens at night, it sounds really cool. Adding an extra layer of mystery to it.
    2. I love the design (my copy is different from the one on the page). I love the black and white and the touch of red in the scarf. I also really like the silhouettes of the people and the little stars everywhere.
    3. Yes and no. It does not really feel like I am there, as I need a bit more than just words to convince me of such a fact. However, I can imagine how it looks, feels and smells because of the use of ‘you’. It helps the writer to draw you in a little.
    4. He has never met her and didn’t even know he had a daughter. I don’t think he left her, but her mother. They might have had a fling in the past, that meant nothing to him.
    5. It is not a very nice thing to do, to say the least. It is certainly not how the relationship between father and daughter should be.
    6. He wants to stay as anonymous as possible. Just like he wears grey.
    7. Names are for the most part very convenient. They also define a bit who you are. Your name raises certain expectations and it gives you something to hold on to.
    8. Celia and the boy are bound by the rules of the challenge. They both don’t know what they will be doing, and why, and aren’t even sure of the other’s identity. But they know that ‘the other one’ is out there, waiting for them.
    9. I first thought that Isobel was Celia (and that she had changed her name). Later I thought that Isobel might be a love interest for Marco and that Celia would find someone as well. Isobel might be a distraction for Marco.
    10. No. I do not believe in contact with spirits or ghosts. Gone is gone.
    11. They sort of show you how the things you are reading have their effect on the circus. You learn about the way the circus came together and what the backstory is, and the descriptions tell you something of the finished product. To help you make sense in what direction the story is heading.
    12. Bailey is certainly no ordinary visitor of the circus. He and the little girl are definitely linked together. Also, she knows his name so maybe that is because he will be linked to the circus as well.
    13. Chandresh is famous for his weird ideas and plans, mainly to entertain him and his friends. So, that is why she calls it a game. Something to entertain them.
    14. Celia wears a ring (scar) that ties her to someone else. That is very similar to a marriage.
    15. The clock shows when it is night and day (and so the opening hours of the circus). Also, it is a spectacular piece of work, that will show the people outside the circus some of what can be expected inside.
    16. I thought it was very nice how it was set up. However I did not like the fact that Marco realized that she was his opponent, but that Celia still doesn’t know. I know it works well for the rest of the book, but I like these kind of things to be equal.
    17. (having read the book already, I know the answer of course). I already suspected that Marco would choose Celia over Isobel, but Isobel would probably play her own important part in the story as well.
    18. The burning of the book should have its effects on people, I think/thought. However, it was not very clear to me what would happen.
    19. Hector is not really a ghost, he is not dead. He is just not completely ‘there’.
    20. Marco does not even really notice the bracelet. For Isobel it is something important. Just like their relationship, she values it more than he does.
    21. I suspected the game would end when there is one survivor. But I did not know how or why that should happen.
    22. Yes, I think/thought that these powers would be useful later in the book. Poppet can see some things that are going to happen, so she can prepare herself and warn others. Widget can see what has happened, so he can provide the context for what Poppet sees.
    23. I liked the description. It shows how there are all sorts of things involved, and it is not just one move per player. It also shows that the scales are getting heavier and heavier, like in the game things are getting more and more difficult and serious.
    24. I don’t really know. I think the card says something about the relationship between Marco and Celia, but it remains a bit unclear.
    25. It shows that the circus has its effects on the world around it. Otherwise, it would only be a venue for the game. Now it shows that the game itself is connected to the world in general, in other words.. raising the stakes. Also, it gives us an idea of how it is to visit it and to experience the grandeur of it all.
    26. In the first meeting, their relationship was unequal, because Marco had an advantage on her (he knew who she was, and she did not). Now the relationship is more equal, they both know what is going on, but now Celia has more ‘power’. She says no when he asks her to come with him.
    27. I liked the encounter. I think Bailey is a very nice and sweet character and Isobel is too. I like the fact that Isobel seems to encourage the relationship with Poppet. I think Bailey and Poppet end up together, as a couple.
    28. My first guess would be blood. However, I do not know what exactly.
    29. I think she is connected to the circus in some way that causes her not to age. There is some kind of magic involved in it all of course. I think no one connected to the circus ages, except for the twins. Maybe because they were born on a special occasion?
    30. Her death came as a sort of surprise because it eventually happened so suddenly. However, I assumed that something was going to happen because she was looking for answers that no one was going to give her.
    DISCUSSION:
    The one thing I remember from the circus was when I was with a friend of mine and her mother. (I was about 10 I think). A clown on the stage asked for someone in the audience to participate in something and me and my friend raised our hands. The clown picked me but at that moment I chickened out and pushed my friend forward so she could go. She did and she had an amazing time helping him with his act. I was sooo jealous and angry with myself for chickening out! Oh well.

    31. I like the sentiment. I agree with him up to a certain point as I also like some things to remain a mystery. I do not like to know how every magic trick works, but I would like to know some of it. I do think you can enjoy some of the dark when you know a bit more.
    32. I would not like to be part of anything where I would not age. Not being sick sounds very nice, though! Can I just have that part?
    33. No. I don’t think he was the reason for her death. He tried to keep everyone connected to the circus to keep them alive, but she was not as connected as he might have foreseen. I don’t know what other repercussions might come of it.
    34. I like it. I would like them to fall in love, as that might be the only way for them to find another way out of the challenge.
    35. I don’t know. Clearly, Alexander is not a normal man. He has magic all around him, so maybe the shadow tells us that he is not completely real?
    36. I think Marco needed those samples to tie the people to the book so that he could have some control over them (to keep them from aging or getting hurt or sick).
    37. He didn’t exactly die. I think what he did was a bit arrogant and I like the fact that he didn’t completely succeed, as he was/is a nasty character. I think it is somewhat similar to what most people think a ghost would be like. Forever tied to this world, but nor really able to do anything with it.
    38. I think Bailey might be the one who saves the circus in the end in some way. I don’t know what his arrival means for the competition, but it somehow shows us that something bad will happen and that neither Celia nor Marco will be able to save the circus. (So that Bailey has to).
    39. It shows us that the stakes have become very high for Celia and Marco. They are not just competing against each with fancy tricks, but what they do have their effects on everyone around them.
    40. I think it is true love for the both of them. We can read from both perspectives, and neither of them seems to be using the other one for their own gain.
    DISCUSSION #2
    I would very much like to be in love like Celia and Marco. I don’t really believe in love at first sight, but I do think that a first meeting can tell you a lot about the other person, including if you like them and if you can picture spending the rest of your life with them. Fairytale love is of course not realistic, but I know for a fact that you can fall in love with someone and stay in love your whole life.
    41. I think it was sort of inevitable for Bailey to become part of the circus. He was doubting everything in his life, and the only thing he felt sure about was his love for the circus. I don’t know what I would do if I were in his position. Maybe I’d do the same.
    42. I think it is some sort of happy ending for them. It’s the best outcome they could hope for, given the rules of the challenge. They are now together forever, within the circus where they both have strong connections with.
    43. Well, the circus continues to exist for a very long time, because the people don’t age. You can also see that at the end, when ‘you’ visit the circus, you can contact Bailey by e-mail. In other words, its (almost) present day which would make Bailey about 130 years old.
    44. I loved the cloud labyrinth and I would love to watch the illusionist’s show. I think Poppet and Widget and Bailey are the nicest characters in the book. I would like to meet the twins most, because they have special abilities. The chocolate mice sounded great, as did the chocolate milk.
    45. I would recommend this book to a friend if I knew that friend was into magic-y stuff. Not everyone likes these kind of books.

  31. To make a long story short: I finished the book 2 days ago. I’m not in the mood to answering all the questions, really I didn’t like the book at all. It has some nice parts indeed! But summasumarum over all – sorry but it is so boring – not my cup of tea! Not because of the circus topic or magical fairy style, but you could tell the whole thing on much fewer pages… also the fact that miss Morgenstern switched all the time the dates and years was not necessary at all…

  32. Okay, I’ve managed to finish the book! I didn’t realize that there were questions that I could answer while reading – I’ll keep this in mind for the next book 🙂

    44. What was your favorite part of the circus? Which character would you most want to meet? Which tent would you most want to visit? Which food sounded most appealing?

    I’d like to visit the ice garden and the pool of tears most – both these tents sound quite beautiful, and instead of a staged spectacle, these tents seem more introspective, where you yourself become the main act. I imagine that each visit would be different based on your own mood/life circumstances at the time.

    45. Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I’d been wanting to read The Night Circus for a while now – I’d imagined something a bit different from the actual story, though. I thought The Night Circus was more of a circus focused on adults instead of kids. Overall, I felt the book was overly descriptive. The central part of the plot – Celia and Marco’s love for each other – never seemed strong enough, Isobel’s heartbreak never seemed tragic enough…

    I won’t say that it wasn’t enjoyable to read about the different tents, but it just seemed to move the focus away from the actual plot which I didn’t feel was substantial enough to stand up to the vivid imagery. I am glad I read it, though. The story was sweet, and this seems like the type of circus that I might enjoy – I’m not really a fan of the standard circus. I do think the book would make a gorgeous movie!

  33. 3) I think it’s c nice interaction betweer reader and writer.
    4) He left the mother of this child and this was their first meeting
    5) Cruel. He don’t feel anything for her. Winning is more important for him.
    6) He’s afraid the girl knows too much about him.
    7) In a conversation it can be important. You’ve to know about who you are talking.
    8) It can be a relationship. When those 2 people get kids, the are more powerfull I guess. But for the two men winning is more important than the feeling of the kids.
    9) I think she is Celia
    10) I don’t believe in ghosts.
    11) The writer wants you to be there.
    12) Maybe a friend for Celia or a new student
    13) Maybe she was a part of one of his games once
    14) Because of the ring
    15) He had his dinners always at midnight. Punctually! So a clock is important for him.
    16) It’s of course unfair Marco knew who she was.

  34. 8.) I think Celia and the boy are bound by magic used by the two magicians who have created some sort of game.

    9.) I am not certain who Isobel is, but she may have something to do with the circus.

    10.) Contacting the dead through mediums has always seemed fake to me, because most those people are making up things.I do believe that their are ways for spirits to contact the living, but in less dramatic ways.

    11.) The pages describing the reader being at the circus aren’t really adding much to the story that the author hasn’t already described in the chapters. So far, it seems repetitive.

    12.) Bailey might end up joining the circus from what I have read in these beginning chapters.

    13.) I have no idea why she refers to it as a game.

    14.) Celia is referring to being bound to her competition.

    15.) The clock is used for the circus, because in the beginning it describes the clock in detail at the circus entrance.

    16.) Celia and Marco meeting officially was not that interesting. I expected them to meet as opponents ready to battle with magic.

    17.) I think Isobel will fade out of the story when Marco and Celia begin their romance.

    18.) The burning of Marco’s notebook might effect the cirucs by binding the people to the circus itself.

    19.) Hector isn’t a ghost, because it said he was doing some sort of magic trick that made him fade.

    20.) Maybe the hair bracelet disappearing foreshadows their relationship ending.

    21.) I sort of think that either Celia or Marco will die or somehow break the binding between them.

    22.) Widget and Poppet seem to have very unusual powers which may be helpful as the story progresses.

    23.) The description of the scales didn’t make much sense to me.

    24.) I’m not sure what the angel signifies.

    25.) They are important to the circus because they seem to keep the story of it alive and maybe they are entranced by some magic spell.

    26.) The meeting of Celia and Marco in the rain wasn’t very exciting either, but leads me to believe they will be romantically involved.

  35. 36. I think he did this so that he has a “piece” of the person to help the magic work better.

    37. I knew it was something like that. I think it differs from being a plain old ghost because he can interact with certain people intelligently and travel from place to place.

    38. At this point, I had no idea what Bailey’s role would be.

    39. I think Tara’s death was to show a darker side to the circus, and Friedrick’s death was really sad, so maybe she threw it in there for the emotional impact. Also to show that the circus was starting to unravel.

    40. 99% of me thought it was true love at this point, but 1% of me was still kind of doubting Marco’s true intentions.

    Book Club Discussion #2: Well, I don’t know if I would want it to start out with a confusing magical challenge, but of course, everyone dreams of true love like theirs! And yes, I do believe in love at first sight!

    41. I think it was a good choice, because I didn’t see it coming at all. But I think it was Bailey’s true calling and I think if I were him, I would have done the same thing.

    42. Well, I’m happy they are together in their strange limbo state inside the circus, but I guess I would have preferred that they had saved each other and still lived in the real world.

    43. I think it will continue on and on, until maybe one day Celia and Marco can give the power to run the circus over to someone else, if Bailey ever gets tired of running it.

    44. I thought the author’s descriptions made every part of the circus seem enchanting! I think my favorite part was the room with the different smells in the bottles or the Ice Garden too. I would love to meet Poppet and Widget and Celia too. All the food sounded great, but especially the chocolate mice!

    45. Yes, I would because it was a very unique and interesting story!

  36. 27.) Bailey’s meeting with Isobel was a bit strange. I think he and Poppet will end up being together at the end of the book.

    28.) To me, it seems like the red might represent blood.

    29.) She isn’t aging, because there was a spell put on the circus people to make sure they stayed young so they can perform their duties.

    30.) I thought Tara’s death was going to happen anyways, because she started to question the way the circus works. Poppet had mentioned that she didn’t want an old lady to die which was the foreshadowing of the event.

    31.) I guess ignorance is bliss to some people.

    32.) It would be cool not age or get sick, but eventually everything has to die so it wouldn’t be fair for me to go against nature.

    33.) Tara dying was more likely due to her seeking out more information about the circus. Maybe more people will end up dying as the story goes on.

    34.) Marco and Celia meeting up late at night was probably going to happen anyways since they are bound together. The two of them falling in love may be bad, because one of them has to win the game and one has to lose.

    35.) Alexander might be some sort of ghost man.

    36.) Marco needed something personal from each person involved in the game so he could manipulate them with spells.

    37.) Celia’s father isn’t dead nor is he alive..he’s just there. What he did was very insane, because he can’t enjoy the rest of his life and will always be stuck in limbo.

    38.) I’m still trying to figure out what the purpose of Bailey being in the circus is.

    39.) I think they both died in the story, because they were to close to knowing the truth about the circus.

    40.) There love may be real, but one could be using it to their advantage.

    Discussion 1: I remember going to the circus and riding on an elephant, which was really exciting for a small child. I believe maybe only Disneyland can come up with a circus like the one in the book, but with fake illusions.

    Discussion 2: Every girl dreams of falling in love with the perfect man, but it hardly ever works that way in reality. I guess two people could fall in love at first sight..I’ve never met anybody who has.

  37. 41.) Considering Bailey loved the circus and wanted to always go there, I think he made the right decision to be a permanent part of it. I would not devote my entire life to the circus to save Celia and Marco, because I prefer being able to do things without being bound to something like the circus.

    42.) I think Celia and Marco end up dying in the end. It doesn’t seem like they had a chance to really be together the way they wanted or live their lives so it’s a star-crossed lovers situation. I wished they had just run off together away from the circus.

    43.) The circus will probably keep going on and on, because the circus people don’t seem to age.

    44.) I didn’t really care for the book much so I don’t have a favorite part. The tent I would like most to experience is the cloud one, because it sounded fun. The only character I really liked was Poppet, because she was more down to earth than the rest of the characters. I probably would have tried everything food wise at the circus.

    45.) This book was a real pain for me to read. The author forgot about the plot and evolving the characters. There were too many descriptions and everything was the same page after page. The tents were a cool concept, but nothing really pushed the limits in the book and it was very boring to me. I kept wondering if the game would progress or the romance of Celia and Marco, but nothing exciting ever happened. All I read was descriptions about people, objects, the circus and the so called “game” that never advanced. I personally would not recommend this book to anybody, unless they like that sort of story.

  38. 1. I think this circus is magical and mysterious and being open only at night reinforces this atmosphere. Night has an unexplainable attraction to many people. For example the researcher’s night and night of museums are very popular in my hometown and I have heard even over the Europe.
    2. My book’s cover looks like this: http://erinmorgenstern.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Night-Circus-UK-cover.jpg The numerous little stars remind me of magic. The man and woman might show that there is also romance in the book. I have heard a proverb that there is an invisible red line between two lovers. It is visible on the cover. 🙂 I think the design is very chique and stylish.
    3. Yes, I felt I was there and I could imagine the scene. This “trick” reminded me of another book: Viktor Pelevin’s “Chapaev i Pustota”. I haven’t read it yet (although I’m curious), but my friend told me about her experience with the book. By the way, she read it at night! 🙂 The author describes four people sitting around a fire. Three of them are described in the story, but the fourth one never is. In the end the author reveals that the fourth one is the reader him/herself! My friend said that she felt even kind of shocked as though some mystical hand could pull her into the book. I think writing in you-form gives the author a better chance to reach the readers and the readers a better chance to reach the story.
    4. I think Prospero even didn’t know he had a daughter. Celia’s mother raised her until now, but she committed suicide.
    5. It is very selfish of Prospero. As Celia is so young, she might not know a different life much and she might even enjoy the magic tricks, but her father does not give her a chance to be a normal child and this is not fair.
    6. He might have some dark secrets to hide.
    7. I don’t agree. Those who read “Alice through the Looking Glass” certainly remember how Alice forgot her name for a while in the enchanted forest. With the name she also began to forget who she really is. This story shows how names are a part of our idendity.

  39. 8. They are opponents in the contest on what Celia’s father and the man in the grey suit made a contract.
    9. I think she is a girl looking for her place in the world and Marco will fall in love with her.
    10. I think that mediums are mostly making money just like Celia and her father. Some might believe in ghosts themselves, but that doesn’t bring them nearer. But who knows, when I had lost someone very dear to me, I would likely be desperate to get some sign from him/her as well. But I would not trust the mediums. Maybe I would wait for them to appear in my dreams.

  40. 11. It is almost the same as question 3. These chapters make You feel
    12. I think he might become friends with the girl she meets in the circus. And as he is be very brave already as a young boy, there might be even bigger challenges for him, when he grows up. It is significant that Bailey’s story takes part 12 years later than the basic storyline (it is 1897 while all the other chapters around it take place in 1885. I don’t understand yet why the author allows the readers this peak into the “future”, but it should have some kind of meaning. Maybe the girl he meats is the daughter of some of the main characters like Celia’s?
    13. She knows Chandresh, his love for extraordinary things. Maybe she is also a bit ironic, but in a friendly way.
    14. Celia has the scar of the ring Alexander left to her finger when she was young and she knows that this means an important bound to her, although she might not quite understand what it brings to her.

  41. . Based on the sudden presence of Prospero’s daughter, what kind of relationship do you think they had in the past? For what reason would he have left his daughter? I don’t think they had a real father-daughter relationship before, more of a distant one. He may have left her, because he didn’t want to stay with the mother.

    5. How do you feel about Prospero using his daughter’s abilities for his own gain? He shouldn’t have done this without at least some kind of consent from her. She’s not even really aware of what’s going on. And at the age the decision is made, she’s way too young anyway.

    6. Why might “Alexander” have changed his name? To not be recognized by some people who may have known him by another name. Or because he found the new one fit his personality better.

    7. Do you agree with Alexander that names are not as important as people might think? As a label to identify him by the institution, he’s right. But his name may be the only “gift” from his parents that the boy may have left. There were even times in history where a name was given to indicate what the parents hoped the child would grow up to be like and what they’d do later in life.

    8. In what way do you suppose Celia and the boy might be bound? That competition or whatever that the two men were planning to set up. Some kind of spell so they couldn’t get out of it.

    9. Who do you think Isobel is and what role do you think she will play in Marco’s life? I think she might be Celia, just not giving him her real name. Unless something trickier is going on and she’s some kind of spy sent by one of the men.

  42. 15. I have already read that it is on the entrance of the circus and I think it’s purpose is to attract attention of the visitors and to hint that even bigger wonders are waiting inside.
    16. I think Marco recognises Celia as his opponent, he fears her powers but is equally attracted by her beauty. Celia doesn’t seem to have specific feelings about Marco.
    17. Yes, I think she will be caught in a love triangle because the “Lovers” card she draws refers to it.

  43. 18. I think burning the notebook with magical signs puts the magic into the bonfire. And as the bonfire is always kept burning, it affects people in the circus – the performers and workers get bound to it and the visitors want to come back again and again.
    19. I now have alreay read how Celia explains that one of his fathers tricks went wrong and he is not really dead. And even if he is a ghost, he has a string will to instruct Celia that makes him return.
    20. I think Isobel made the bracelet to bind Marco to her, but Marco is already attracted to Celia and makes the bracelet disappear to make Isobel forget her hopes.
    21. I think it must be something dark and dangerous. I think finally one of the opponents loses the magical powers… or goes mad throughly… or even dies. It must be something determinative.
    22. I think this powers are kind of interesting to Widget and Poppet themselves, but as they are children it might be also a burden to them as knowing the future or past might be hard. Widget and Poppet certainly discover some secrets from the past or foretell some events that are about to happen.
    23. I think it is a fairly good metaphore. In usual games opponents get points, which are added to their „accounts“ just like weights to the scales. But this game is more complicated. Isobel ponts out that the scales might break finally. Marco doesn’t believe it is a good comparison, but Ithink that’s the way it is. The game goes on, until something fatal happens. This might mean an end to the whole circus as adding weight means finally an end to the scales.
    24. I’m not sure, but I did some research on the tarot cards and I most suspect three cards featuring an angel symbol:
    * Lovers http://whatthecatread.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/tarot-lovers.jpg This might mean that Marco falls in love with Celia and leaves Isobel behind.
    *Judgement http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/dd/RWS_Tarot_20_Judgement.jpg
    This might mean that there will be a final judgement, it all comes toa n end someway.
    *Temperance http://www.learntarot.com/bigjpgs/maj14.jpg This might mean that Isobel must stay modest and not intervene the course of events.
    25. Friedrick Thiessen writes about his circus experiances and this brings the circus closer to the reader as well. I think so many reveurs are attracted because the people working at the circus are so devoted and the income just must be awesome. But it is also the magic that keeps the performers and attracts the guests.
    26. At their first meeting Celia didn’t know who her opponent is and didn’t pay much attention to Marco. Now that she knows, she is kind of mocking on Marco (or flirting) but still most of the feelings are conceiled.
    27. Isobel tells Bailey that he has great things ahead. Maybe together with Poppet they can save the circus people from the spell? Anyway I think that they will beacome good friends and maybe even lovers.
    28. It must be blood and death.
    29. I know know that it is Marco’s spell that keeps the circus people from aging. It is necessary to keep the circus going on, the game going on…
    30. I think Tara had to die because she knew too much and started to suspect that the circus is evil in some way. „Alexander“ might have tempted her to step in front of the train by creating his shadow twin. Anyway I feel that „Alexander“ is responsible for her death. Tara’s death was foreshadowed by the red Poppet saw (she also said that she doesn’t want the nice lady to die) and the living statue with letter „In memoriam“ Bailey saw. Tara herself also might have understood she has to die.
    Book Club Discussion: I have been to the circus several times. I remember trained lions, elephants, cats and other animals, contortionists, clowns… Trained cats were also in the book, also a contortionist, but all the circus performances I have visited have been much more colourful. But I think the feeling of something magical was there, especially when I was younger. A circus is (or at least should be) always like another world.
    31. Sometimes it is safer and more comfortable not to know certain things. It also reminds me of Widget’s story where he states that there is less magic in today’s world because many secrets are revealed. Of course people usually get curious. But I also agree that sometimes is much better to feel the magic than to know exactly how it works.
    32. I think aging is normal and if I do not age, I finally had to hide away from my friends to avoid their suspicions, but I wouldn’t want to do this. Being kept from getting sick is nice of course, but I wouldn’t like to be bound to the circus forever.
    33. I think it was not the exact reason for Tara’s death, but the fire kept her from aging and seeing this (and maybe some ohter signs) lead Tara to questioning „Alexander“ and Alexander „pushed“ her to death seeing that she might become dangerous. I think the influences caused by the fire might make others anxious as well and this might be dangerous. Maybe someone else dies as well.
    34. This meeting is certainly more romantic than the two before. I like that they can be honest with each other. But I am not sure what influences their love has on the game. „Alexander“ says that falling in love with Celia makes the game harder for Marco. In case one of the opponents has to die it would be better if they were not in love. But maybe love can save them both?
    35. Maybe he is Devil himself!
    36. The hair samples give him power over the people whose hair they are. It is long believed that people’s power is in their hair. Even in the Bible Delilah reduced Samson’s power by cutting his hair.

  44. 38. Maybe Bailey is going to be in charge at the circus someway and keep people together. Maybe he will be sacrificed to the challenge some way to set Celia and Marco free.

    39. I think the author wanted to show that the circus has consequences for all the people connected to it and these effects can be very serious. Tara was the first one to have too many questions and suspicions which made him dangerous from Alexander’s point of view. As Chandresh started to have suspicions of Alexander, he wanted to kill him to keep the circus safe. Now an innocent victim was needed because Alexander’s death would have likely meant the end of the challenge and that would have been too simple. Herr Thiessen was probably chosen because he was obsessed with the circus as the first reveur, but obsessions are not always good… Later it comes out that Celia’s father coaxed Chandresh to kill Alexander. Maybe it was a cunning deal between Hector and Alexander to get Friedrick killed and make people at the circus emotionally weeker by it.

    40. I think their love is true, but the author deliberately leaves some ambiguities to keep the suspense.

    Book Club Discussion #2: Yes, I have dreamed of this kind of love, but recently I usually don’t dream of love much. With some reservations I can even say like in a famous song “I think love is only true in fairytales, meant for someone else but not for me…” I think love at first sight might be possible for some people, but I usually ponder over things a lot so I wouldn’t rush into love as quickly. 😛 As for fairytale love I think that falling in love is always kind of fairytaly, if it is a true feeling. But scientists have found out the phase of falling in love only lasts for 8 months. Then you have to take your pink glasses off and see the reality. And there are not many people who can keep the fairytale in their everyday life. Some still can, I’m sure.

  45. 41. Yes, I think it was a good choice because the circus was the only thing Bailey had ever dreamt about and it mattered to him more than anything else. If I was Bailey, I would have had my doubts, but finally definetely said yes, because what can be bad about fulfilling a dream and helping others? It would have been unfair only if Bailey wouldn’t have cared, but he did! Getting the whole circus was even more than Bailey had dreamed, he didn’t doubt so much about wanting it, but being the appropriate person. It was very touching to read the part when Bailey said he is not “special”, but Celia reassured him sometimes it’s enough when you are in the right place at the right time and care enough to do what is needed. The circus was already in Bailey’s heart, he could not live without it. So he was definetely the best choice to continue with the circus.

    42. Celia and Marco will stay in the circus in their ghost-like form and protect it. I think it was a bit strange, but definitely happy ending, because they can stay together in the place they love and with the person they love. And I can’t think of another way to end the challenge safely and happily for both of them.

    43. The circus is will go on with great popularity and Bailey, Poppet and Wideget will be very dedicated to it. And if Bailey gets too old, he passes the circus on to his (and Poppet’s! ;)) children.

    44. I would like to meet Poppet and Widget as they were friendly and jolly and Celia because she was so kind and caring (although at first I thought she will grow cold and calculating because of his nasty father). Madame Padva was also nice with her dignity and elaborate taste but certainly warm heart. She certainly had a lot of interesting stories to tell about her career. I actually know a retired prima ballerina myself and I always used to think while reading Tante Padva was somewhat like her. My favourite tents were the ice garden, the cloud maze (although I likely would have been slightly scared of jumping down at first :P) and the story-telling tent with bottles of souns and smells.

    45. I really enjoyed this book a lot and I am sure it is a story that haunt me long after finishing it. But it was also quite hard for me, because I had to read it in English and look up several words to understand everything. The author has quite a complex writing style and she loves unusual words in her descriptions. It is the thickest book I have ever read in English and here I have to thank the Book Club because I likely wouldn’t have taken this challenge without You! I’m very happy I made it. But as long as the book has not been translated into Estonian yet (which is a pity of course) I can only recommend it to friends who are really good at English! 😛

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