We met on Wednesday March 20th at the Old Punch Bowl in Warwick. Sadly this is the last meeting we will be having here as the pub has been sold and is going to be the subject of a major refurbishment. Thanks to Angie and the team who have made us so welcome over the last couple of years. Good luck for the future – we will miss you.
We had been reading “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern. This is a truly enchanting book. It is about magic, magicians and the amazing Night Circus of the title. Full of atmosphere, the reader will certainly have no problem imagining the multiple tents that make up the “Cirque des Reves”, the smells and the mystery.
Set at the end of the nineteenth century, the book tells the story of the power struggle between two magicians, Prospero the Enchanter and the man in a grey suit whose name may possibly be Alexander. They are both centuries old and the competition between them has been going on for generations. In “The Night Circus” they use the skills of their latest protégés to compete, Propero’s (or Hector’s) daughter, Celia and a remarkable young orphan adopted by Alexander whom he names Marco.
To describe the circus there is a short passage towards the end of the book….”There are tents, I am certain, that I have not discovered in my many visits to the circus. Though I have seen a good deal of the sights, travelled a number of the available paths, there are always corners that remain unexplored, doors that remain unopened.”
Everyone in the group enjoyed the book. We discovered during our discussions that reading the book again gives a new perspective and it is probably worth reading three times or more! There are at least two time lines running through the story and possibly three. The characters, despite their magical powers, are rounded and believable. We all want the Cirque des Reves to suddenly appear one night near where we live – meanwhile we’ll read the book again and recommend it to our friends.
Our next meeting will be at Warwick Books on Wednesday 24th April. We will be discussing “Le Grand Meaulnes” by Alain-Fournier. It is the only novel completed by this accomplished French writer who was sadly killed right at the start of the First World War in 1914. It is available in two translations, from Penguin and from Vintage, both £8.99. At this meeting we can discuss possible new venues for our meetings and plan ahead for the Summer. We have already chosen “The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller for our May meeting (Wednesday 22nd May)