• Great Circle
  • Great Circle
  • Great Circle
  • Great Circle
  • Great Circle
  • Great Circle
  • Great Circle
  • Great Circle

Great Circle

Fiction, General Fiction
Paperback Published on: 26/05/2022
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Bookseller Reviews

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Great Circle
Complex story telling
Interesting book very cleverly constructed. The life of an early aviator is entwined with a present day actress. Beautifully written with a expertly plott... READ MORE
Great Circle
Absorbing and Compelling
This is an absolute beast of a novel, sprawling through decades and lives, hopping backwards and forwards in time and across the globe. There were things a... READ MORE
Katy Wheatley
Great Circle
Exciting and beautifully written
An epic and adventurous novel full of beautiful landscapes and scenery; Geat Circle is not going to be my favourite book of the year but it is a really enj... READ MORE
Great Circle
An Astonishing Accomplishment
This is the story of two women tied together through the decades. In the early twentieth century we meet Marian Graves, a daredevil aviator who grew up in ... READ MORE
Poppy Flaxman
Great Circle
Gorgeous but a little slow to start
I honestly loved this book, but at just under 700 pages, it definitely took a while to get through. The writing is beautiful and on the whole I loved the p... READ MORE
Thalia Caddy
Great Circle
One of the best books I have EVER read
When I say that I loved this book, those words do not do justice to just how obsessed I became (and still am) with Great Circle. The reviewer who called it... READ MORE
Francesca Dorricott


Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month for June 2022

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2022

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2021

For fans of The Goldfinch, All the Light We Cannot See and The Girls: this monumentally powerful epic weaves together the astonishing lives of a daredevil female aviator and the Hollywood rebel who will play her on screen.

From the days of giant passenger ships sliding past Arctic icebergs, to the daring pilots of WWII, to present-day Hollywood and its malcontents, at the core of this story is the indomitable Marian Graves and her twin brother Jamie who are twice abandoned by their parents. Marian and Jamie grow up roaming Montana forests, more comfortable with landscape than with people.

When a pair of aerobats take their exhilarating show to a nearby airfield, Marian's life is changed forever. Watching them roll, dive, and loop in their mini plane, she can think of nothing else but flying. As she grows into a woman, she sacrifices everything to command the breathtaking sense of freedom, of utter control over her own fate, that she feels when in the air. She becomes one of the most fearless pilots of her time, and in 1949 she sets out to do what no one has done before: fly the Great Circle around the earth, north to south around the poles. Shortly before completing the journey, her plane disappears, lost to history.

In 2015, Hadley Baxter, former child star and poster girl of the blockbuster Archangel franchise, has just been fired for cheating on her on-screen boyfriend. Struggling to escape the fury of the fans, she grasps at an offer for the comeback role of a lifetime: to play the famed female pilot Marian Graves in a biopic. From the first pages of the script, she feels an instant connection with Marian, a woman who refused to be bound by gravity or any of the other strictures of her time. After filming is complete, her bond grows stronger as she begins to question whether the Great Marian Graves really did die at all.

Maggie Shipstead is the author of the bestselling and prize-winning debut novel Seating Arrangements. With Great Circle, she cements her place among a famed list of American Literary Stars as one of the greatest storytellers of our time.

  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • ISBN: 9781529176643
  • Number of pages: 688
  • Weight: 468g
  • Dimensions: 197 x 130 x 31 mm

Customer Reviews

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Great Circle
An interesting story of the fictional aviator Marian Graves. I read this with a wonderful group of readers led by the brilliant Helen and must admit it was... READ MORE
wendy Robey
Great Circle
This is such an excellent book. Not only are the fictional people believable but there's such a lot of history regarding real female pilots, the problems t... READ MORE
Great Circle
Good in parts
In 1914 Marian Graves & her twin Jamie were rescued from a sinking ship & sent to live with their artist uncle in Missoula, Montana. He is an artist & a dr... READ MORE
Maggie Macdonald
Great Circle
Not what I had hoped from the description
I've forced myself to get to page 75 in the hope that I would find something in the story to hold onto, to push my way through all the vulgar sex talk but ... READ MORE
Beth Hall
Great Circle
The balancing act is wrong
This book in theory, is the best of both worlds. There’s two enticing lead heroines and an intricately plotted storyline across 50 plus years. However the ... READ MORE
Nick Leadbeater
Great Circle
One of my top reads of 2023. Beautifully written, and utterly captivating.
Beth Fairall