October 14, 2011
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The Invisible Circus

by Jennifer Egan

The opening chapters of The Invisible Circus are crafted with stunning density and a lyrical touch, as Egan effortlessly unfolds the complicated, multi-layered emotional life of a small San Francisco family with naturalness, concision, and without contriving a lot of distracting incident. Phoebe, the youngest child, is graduating from high school, and impulsively heads to Europe to follow the path that her wonderful older sister, Faith, took some years before. It’s the early 70s; Dad knew the Beats, Faith knew the ’60s, and Phoebe suspects she was born just a little too late, that she was too young when it happened and now the circus has folded its tents.