Sometimes I want chocolate. And sometimes I want the chocolate experience. I’m as guilty as the next person of the occasional vending machine pick-up for when I need those quick fixes. But then there’s the slow anticipation. Take last week, for instance. It had been a few days since the last time. As I waited in line for my latte, my eyes happened to linger on a cute little cupcake, dark velvety goodness. Short, stacked, with a swirl of fluffy milk chocolate frosting. I resisted temptation, but the thought of chocolate lingered in my mind, and it was only a day or two before I found myself heading to my favorite chocolatier, craving the bittersweetness of an espresso-infused truffle. The overwhelming rich smell of cocoa as I opened the door. The charming smile of the clerk. The snap as my teeth bit through the dark chocolate coating, and the coffee-flavored richness of the silky ganache coating my tongue. “The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is achingly beautiful. I’ll concur with the critics that it might not have much of a plot, but sometimes the point is the storytelling. Morgenstern’s writing reminds me of “In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente” in it’s deceptively simple storytelling, of Peter S. Beagle‘s melancholic and star-crossed lovers, and of Steven Millhauser‘s love of ornate visual details in a magical environment. It’s lyrical and evocative. If you want hair-trigger, gun-slinging action, this is not the book for you. If you look for slow, winding beauty, the walk in the sun-filled garden and the sparkle of sunlight off ice-covered trees, this might be your book.
Recommended for: dreamers, poets and those in love with magic and words Read December 2011 ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2