Great Circle – Maggie Shipstead

Great Circle – Maggie Shipstead

I should record why I choose to buy books. I can’t remember the reason behind this one. I know it sat in my secondary ‘to be read’ pile for a while. Maybe a friend from book club?

I really enjoyed it – it was an enormous book, but I didn’t want it to end.

Here’s the blurb …

I was born to be a wanderer. I was shaped to the earth like a seabird to a wave

In 1920s Montana, wild-hearted Marian Graves spends her days roaming the rugged forests and mountains of her home. When she witnesses the roll, loop and dive of two barnstorming pilots, she is determined that one day, she too will take to the skies.

In 1940s London, after a series of reckless romances and a spell flying to aid the war effort, Marian embarks on a treacherous, epic flight in search of the freedom she has always craved. She is never seen again.

More than half a century later, Hadley Baxter, a troubled Hollywood starlet beset by scandal, is irresistibly drawn to play Marian Graves in her biopic, a role that will lead her to probe the deepest mysteries of the vanished pilot’s life.

GREAT CIRCLE is an enthralling drama of struggle and submission, of scale and intimacy, of lives lived on the edge. At once a love letter to our fragile planet and a story of bending the world to our will, Maggie Shipstead has delivered an epic of extraordinary depth and beauty that marks her as one of the greatest storytellers of our time.

The story is told from two time frames – Marion’s in the early 20th century and Hadley’s in contemporary times. Hadley is a troubled actress playing Marion in a bio-pic.

There must have been a lot of research involved in writing this (the flying, the war, boot legging), but it just creates a convincing world.

This book is for anyone who likes historical fiction or women’s fiction.

Review from the Guardian.

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Filed under 4, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Recommended

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