“Glitz and guts square off in Great Circle: a tale of two women set apart by a century, fighting to retain control of their own lives in a society that demands subservience. Shipstead is adept at writing so vividly, the reader can feel the thrill and pain of her characters. Cunningly crafted. . . richly layered, a joy to read . . . riveting.”


Just finished Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead. Audio version.
This book is a story about Marian Graves. Marian and her twin brother Jamie are both saved from a cruise ship about to sink at the beginning of the First World War by thier father, who works for the liner. The mother is lost with the ship. The father will go to jail after having been falsely accused of carrying munitions secretly on the ship. He leaves the twins with his brother, who is an up and coming artist living in the midwest. The father only returns for one night after his time is up and leaves again, leaving the uncle to bring them up. Jamie becomes an artist like his uncle but Marian longs for adventure and she wants to fly.

She meets someone in the bootleg business who falls in love with her and gives her the opportunity to learn to fly. This changes her life forever.
Their stories slowly unfold, and along with a childhood friend named Caleb, they form an unbreaksble bond between them all.
That is half the story. The other half moves forward to the present time where Hadley Baxter will appear as Marian in a film based on Marians life. Hadley becomes so interested in Marian that she does her own research into her life, reading Marians own journal, learning more about Jamie and Caleb.
The relationship of the three is really interesting and the way their lives intersect keeps the reader turning that page, wanting to know more. It’s a very good story and one of the better books I have read this year so far. Highly recommended.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 7th July 2021

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Richard Franco