The Night Circus: Part 3

Happy Friday, Bookies!

I’ve enjoyed the book from the start, but Part 3 really had me turning the pages. All of a sudden, Part 4 was upon me, and I had to stop myself from finishing the whole book on Monday night!

We’ve got a lot to talk about, so let’s get right to it.

We finally get a deeper look into Marco and Celia’s blossoming love affair at the circus’s anniversary dinner. The two of them have a nobody-else-in-the-room kind of relationship that warms your heart, but I was a little disappointed that their relationship went from zero to 100. When I started the book, I expected to be privy to more of the cultivation of the romance.

Just as Celia and Marco’s relationship begins to flourish, the circus’s unraveling escalates. We witness two more characters outwardly questioning the circus and its purpose. Lainie Burgess approaches both Celia and Mr. Barris for answers about the circus so she can attempt to make sense of her sister’s death. Chandresh, the original proprietor of the circus, has an even more difficult time making sense of both the circus and his role in it. I found it interesting that Chandresh was the driving force behind the opening of the circus, but one of his actions seemed to further its demise. Were you surprised by Chandresh’s rampage at the circus? I was shocked that Herr Frederick Theissen died as a result of Chandresh’s actions, but Isobel’s role in the circus’ apparent downfall may have surprised me even more.

I knew Isobel would be an important character in the story, but I had no idea she possessed so much control. I love what Tsukiko says to her: “It is difficult to discern the effect of such things, you know. Your perspective is from the inside, after all. The smallest charms can be the most effective.” How do you think this particular quote relates to the book as a whole?

While chaos ensues on Halloween night at the circus, Bailey seems to have a moment of clarity. I was so happy that Bailey finally made a decision based on his own desires rather than those of his family, but I was shocked when the circus was gone. Do you think Bailey will find it? How? I think he must, because it would be such a letdown for his character to fizzle out like that, but I’m not sure how. Maybe he will use the network of reveurs?

And finally, a little food for thought from some of you!

Last week, a couple of readers caught my attention with comments about an overarching symbol in the book. Catherine wrote: “I like Marco’s tree design and plans, how everything is connected, the circus and their lives. A tree is life! It lives because of what it produces. I love how the circus is the analogy to the tree.” Sarah noticed that other characters have connections to trees. She wrote: “Everyone seems to have a tree in their life—a vehicle to ensure dreams come true?” What do you think, if anything, the tree represents?

I’ll catch up with you next week for our final discussion of The Night Circus but, before I go, I want to remind you to vote for your June book. You have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 23, to make your pick!

—Brigitt

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