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Great Circle by Maggie Shipsted

From a young age, Marian Graves is consumed with an ambition to fly, and the freedoms and possibilities it presents. Abandoned in early childhood, she and her brother Jamie grow up roaming the vast expanses of Montana, on the whole fending for themselves and determining their own lives. Fiercely independent, resourceful and remarkably resilient, she makes the impossible happen, becoming an experienced aviator and travelling the world, never able to put down roots and always pulling away from those she is close to. Her greatest ambition is to circumnavigate the globe from pole to pole, a journey fraught with risks both known and unknown. As she nears completion, her plane disappears, her story stopped suddenly and lost to history. Over half a century later, Hadley Baxter, a difficult and troubled film star takes on the role of Marian on the big screen and finds herself drawn inexorably to the story, feeling a strong connection with the famed female aviator and making her own unexpected discovery. 

A beautifully crafted and compelling epic story spanning continents and decades. Well-formed and believable characters, fabulous evocations of landscapes and deftly incorporating a history of aviation and its pioneers. A favourite with almost all our BookBubble, and our highest scoring book this year.

Overall score: 8.5

Range: 4 – 10

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