Rigid or Free-Spirited?

Night Circus


Our Knit Book Club (and no, we don’t limit ourselves to books about knitting) met the other day and we were discussing the book, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  The majority of us weren’t overly enamored with it but the member who had recommended it, REALLY liked it.  We were curious as to what aspects of the book had “spoken” to her.

SPOILER ALERT:  (If you plan to read the book or are reading it, there might be some spoilers ahead.)  Now I’m paraphrasing a LOT here but it turns out that she really liked how the book didn’t follow the typical structure of a fiction book.  I wondered aloud if she’d read a lot of paranormal or fantasy fiction and she admitted that she really hadn’t.  I guess that was one of my main criticisms of the book.  I began reading it with certain expectations since I read a lot of fantasy and paranormal books but this book just seemed so “blah” compared to most of the books I read in those genres.  There just wasn’t a lot happening.  The circus would show up, it would stick around for awhile and then it would leave.  The two main characters were being groomed for this big “show-down” that never really amounted to anything. The two characters that started the whole ball rolling – the one contestant’s father and the other contestant’s “mentor”? make a bet with each other but we never really know what the stakes are or what the winner wins.  We never really know who the “mentor” is and we don’t really know what happens to these two original characters.  I think the father dies at one point or he just goes away.  I only know that he’s no longer in the picture.  Darn it, where was the closure?  I didn’t even like the circus itself.  If I had to compare it to something, I guess I’d compare it to the Winchester House in California….all half-completed passages and staircases that lead to nowhere.  It seemed like a maze with passages that kept changing shape.  I don’t like that kind of thing.

Our member who liked the book remarked that perhaps, given the stage of life she was in, this was the very reason she enjoyed the book.  She likes things that are unexpected and free-form.  I heard what she was saying but it sure didn’t apply to me.

“I’m German,” I blurted out.  “I have to have order and balance.  When things are off-kilter or don’t follow logical paths (and yes, even fantasy has its own set of logic), I feel uneasy….undone.”

She looked at me like she felt sorry for me.  I looked at her like I thought she was nuts.  It gave me pause.  I had always considered myself a real free-spirit.  Maybe I’m not that kind of person.

I was thinking about that this morning when it dawned on me.  OK, given the fact that I REALLY like order and balance and a framework around my life, I guess I’m not a free-spirit except in my imagination.  However, I know for a fact that I’m VERY impulsive.  It’s the perfect marriage of Germanic rigidity and precision and the mystical, creative side of my Celtic ancestors.  Hmmm, what kind of trouble can I get into today….provided it doesn’t break any laws, put me in danger, or cause me to miss a meal?



  • karyn hutchinson

    Hi Dee! Just catching up. I’m so glad to know your hearing issues are clearing up. I was following that adventure on Facebook. I love hearing about your visits with your mom! Sorry for not commenting on each post, but I wanted to read as much as possible in the time I allotted to myself. I sure appreciate you and your posts! So much fun. Have a blessed weekend! And lay off the housework for awhile. 🙂

    • Dee

      Lay off the housework? Now that’s something I can easily comply with! ha!


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