The Invisible Circus

The Invisible Circus

3.5 (4,316 ratings by Goodreads)
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The hope and heartbreak of the Sixties still linger in America's consciousness. In this breathtaking debut, Jennifer Egan brings to life the seductive pull of that era as it exerts itself on two sisters, separated by a decade, who take enormous risks to personify its ideals. It is 1978. Phoebe O'Connor, 18, runs off to Europe seeking answers about the tragedy that has haunted her family for eight years: the sudden dead of her older sister Faith while in Italy. To Phoebe, Faith epitomizes the youthful, chaotic freedom of the Sixties, and imitating her becomes Phoebe's way of trying to elevate herself from a life that seems drab and unsatisfying compared to the vivid spectacle that was Faith's. Once in Europe, Phoebe follows the itinerary Faith spelled out in postcards from her fatal trip, landing in London, living in a hostel in Amsterdam, taking a tab of LSD in Paris. But instead of the millennial excitement that Faith had sensed in 1960s Europe, Phoebe encounters disappointment and ennui. And when Faith's old lover joins Phoebe to retrace those last days in Italy, Phoebe glimpses the human price that her sister paid in following her uncompromising quest for personal liberation. With its coolly graceful prose and mastery of narrative, "The Invisible Circus" is an unforgettable first novel by a writer of uncommon more

Product details

  • Paperback | 338 pages
  • 129.54 x 200.66 x 20.32mm | 249.47g
  • Random House USA Inc
  • Random House Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0307387526
  • 9780307387523
  • 208,495

Review quote

"If there were justice in this world, no one would be allowed to write a first novel of such beauty and accomplishment."--Pat Conroy "Wonderful...words glide through her fingers and enter the pores like cool San Francisco fog."--Kim Bendheim," Los Angeles Times Book Review" "Mesmerizing...told with great assurance and power...Ms. Egan portrays the sisters with a quiet, heartbreaking clarity."--Alice Truax, "The New York Times Book Review" "Brilliant in its authenticity and overwhelming passion."--Mary-Ann Tirone Smith, "Boston Globe Books"show more

About Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Eganis the author of four novels: A Visit from the Goon Squad, The Keep, Look at Me, The Invisible Circus;and the story collectionEmerald City.Her stories have been published inThe New Yorker, Harper s Magazine, GQ, Zoetrope, All-Story, andPloughshares, and her nonfiction appears frequently inThe New York Times Magazine.She lives with her husband and sons in Brooklyn. "show more

Review Text

"Mesmerizing. . . . Told with great assurance and power. . . . Egan portrays the sisters with a quiet, heartbreaking clarity." - The New York Times Book Review "Wonderful. . . . Words glide through her fingers and enter the pores like cool San Francisco fog." - Los Angeles Times Book Review "Brilliant in its authenticity and overwhelming passion." - The Boston Globe "A trip that takes the reader through stunning emotional terrain." - The New Yorkershow more

Rating details

4,316 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 16% (676)
4 35% (1,520)
3 36% (1,548)
2 10% (449)
1 3% (123)
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