There is an idyllic, Lennon and McCartney-style union when it comes to literature and the summertime. Enjoying a lovely summer’s day requires a few necessities, among which is a decent book to make the sun-kissed day pass and daydreams begin. The number of books beside the pool or on an exotic beach, or a rockier beach on the British coast, is only slightly triumphed by the many sand-ruined bottles of sun cream next to cartoon beach towels and uncomfortable plastic deckchairs. If, like I, you’ve rediscovered the reader’s bug, following an intense period of exams when the desire to read for fun was overwhelmed by deep feelings of guilt, and you’re looking for reading inspiration, this essential summer reading list could be for you.
The Night Circus // Erin Morgenstern
The Night Circus is an enigma, laced in magic and a black and white striped tent. Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel is a tale of a circus, Le Cirque des Reves, which arrives in a city in secret and only opens at night. Morgenstern juggles the many eclectic characters and differing time zones in patience, until the moment where the loose ends lace together perfectly. The story develops around two rival magicians training their apprentices, Celia and Marco, to battle; what the young magicians fail to realise is that one can only win this dark magic encounter with the death of the other. When the two inevitably fall in love, what occurs is a chain of events that puts into risk the entire circus and the plethora of performers the reader comes to know well. This dreamy fairy tale in the forefront of Victorian London stands outside of time; the 502 pages float by, allowing Morgenstern to develop the story organically but to ensure that the plot can never drift. The Night Circus’ dreamy and enchanting nature means that it’s perfect to read in a haze, whether that is on an exotic beach or from the comfort of your garden deckchair this summer.
Words by Caitlin O’Connor