Great Circle by  Maggie Shipstead

Great Circle

Maggie Shipstead

Hold your breath and get on for the ride. This book goes from 1909 to 2014 with every place and every character brilliantly realised. It soars and dips with exhilarating power as it parallels the lives of 2 strong women: Marian Graves, a pioneering aviator, and Hadley Baxter, a teen superstar making a film about Marian. It’s perceptive, rich and surprising - and will catch at your throat too.


Aloft, life is more relentlessly three-dimensional than on the ground. She has to be aware of the plane’s three axes, where it is in space, where it will be in another second, another minute. Trout makes her take off and land, take off and land until the regular rise and fall of the horizon, the surge and easing of the engine, begin to feel like the functions of her own body. She learns to wallow just shy of a stall, slowing her glide enough that the controls go slack but not so much that the buoyancy falls out from under her.

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Explicit sexual content