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beautiful and devastating

I've read a lot of novels this summer. Even more so now that I've discovered I can download e-books from the Toronto Public Library too. Now my zest for reading is insatiable, and distracting. 

I came across The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and I found myself surprised to love the slow but enchanting storyline and atmospheric language. A lot of the novels that I enjoy are more straightforward, where every word makes an impact - I tend not to care for flowery, languid descriptions. The descriptions were mostly concerning the circus itself, and the acts of "magic" that took place, but the thoughts and words of the characters themselves were less descriptive and more evocative.

There was turmoil, weariness, a constant struggle - I could almost feel the words, as if I could see myself saying them, feeling their effect as if I was one of the characters. And there were a lot of passages on the idea of control and discipline, things that I value highly. Passages on how things can be both beautiful and devastating. Passages on endurance, on bindings and responsibility, on the ties that hold us together and connect us.

Erin Morgenstern did a wonderful job. Here are some excerpts:

"I have spent a great deal of my life  
 to keep myself in control...
to know myself inside and out,
everything kept in perfect order."

"I am tired of trying to hold things together that cannot be held.
Trying to control what cannot be controlled.
I am tired of denying myself what I want 
for fear of breaking things I cannot fix."

"Our instructors do not understand how it is - 
to be bound to someone in such a way...
it is never simple.
The other person becomes how you define your life,
how you define yourself.
They become as necessary as breathing.
Then they expect the victor to continue on without that...
they would be whole, but not complete."

"...if I could put into words everything I want to say to you.
A sea of ink would not be enough."

"I have been surrounded by love letters 
you two have built for each other for years,
encased in tents.
It reminds me of what it was to be with her.
It is wonderful and it is terrible."

"You are the greater loss, but too selfish to admit it.
You believe you could not live with the pain.
Such pain is not lived with.
It is only endured."

"Someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative.
There's magic in that.
It's in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different 
and it will affect them in ways they can never predict.
From the mundane to the profound.
You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul,
becomes their blood 
and self 
and purpose.
That tale will move them and drive them.
Who knows what they might do with it because of your words...
Your sister may be able to see the future, 
but you yourself can shape it."

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