‘Great Circle,’ by Maggie Shipstead book review

In that Edenic setting, Jamie develops an intense love for the natural world, but his sister, Marian, thirsts for even greater freedom. When she sees a pair of old circus pilots called the Flying Brayfogles, she’s transfixed. “Other barnstormers had come through town before, selling rides and doing aerobatics and parachute jumps,” Shipstead writes, “but Marian had never really noticed them, never considered how an airplane could pass over the mountains, over the horizon, carry people elsewhere. Maybe she had needed the dangerous proximity of the plane, its roar and the red flash of its wings to jolt her from obliviousness. Or maybe the moment was simply right. She was at an age when the future adult rattles the child’s bones like the bars of a cage.”

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