Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

Literary Loop

New York Times best-selling author Maggie Shipstead creates an epic and emotional story of a daredevil female aviator determined to chart her own course in life in Great Circle, her new novel that spans Prohibition-era Montana, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, New Zealand, wartime London and modern-day Los Angeles.

After encountering a pair of barnstorming pilots in beat-up biplanes, Marian begins her lifelong love affair with flight. At 14 she drops out of school and finds an unexpected and dangerous patron in a wealthy bootlegger who provides a plane and subsidizes her lessons, an arrangement that will haunt her for the rest of her life, even as it allows her to fulfill her destiny: circumnavigating the globe by flying over the North and South Poles.

A century later, Hadley Baxter is cast to play Marian in a film that centers on Marian’s disappearance in Antarctica. Vibrant, canny and disgusted with the claustrophobia of Hollywood, Hadley is eager to redefine herself after a romantic film franchise has imprisoned her in the grip of cult celebrity.

Her immersion into the character of Marian unfolds alongside Marian’s own story, as the two women’s fates — and their hunger for self-determination in vastly different geographies and times — collide.