SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2021
‘A gripping historical adventure that feels sharp, fresh and modern’ STYLIST
‘An amazing literary feat’ CURTIS SITTENFELD
‘A masterpiece’ NIGELLA LAWSON
A soaring, breathtakingly ambitious novel that weaves together the astonishing lives of a 1950s vanished female aviator and the modern-day Hollywood actress who plays her on screen. For fans of TAYLOR JENKINS REID, WILLIAM BOYD and ANN PATCHETT
I WAS BORN TO BE A WANDERER
From the night she is rescued as a baby out of the flames of a sinking ship; to the day she joins a pair of daredevil pilots looping and diving over the rugged forests of her childhood, to the thrill of flying Spitfires during the war, the life of Marian Graves has always been marked by a lust for freedom and danger.
In 1950, she embarks on the great circle flight, circumnavigating the globe. It is Marian’s life dream and her final journey, before she disappears without a trace.
Half a century later, Hadley Baxter, a scandal-ridden Hollywood actress whose own parents perished in a plane crash is irresistibly drawn to play Marian Graves, a role that will lead her to probe the true mystery behind the vanished pilot.
‘Extraordinary’ NEW YORK TIMES
‘Full of adventure, passion and tragedy’ THE TIMES
‘Soars from the very first page’ SUNDAY EXPRESS
‘Luminous, masterful. Glides seamlessly through 20th century history’ TELEGRAPH
‘Impressive and gripping’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘Surprising and moving at every turn’ GUARDIAN
‘Immersive’ DAILY MAIL
‘Accomplished and ambitious’ FINANCIAL TIMES
This is truly exceptional storytelling, combining a sweeping arc of history with writing that, at sentence level, is near-flawless * BOOKSELLER * Whether Shipstead is creating scenes in the Prohibition-era American West, in wartime London, or on a Hollywood movie set, her research is invisible, allowing a fully immersive experience. Ingeniously structured and so damn entertaining; this novel is as ambitious as its heroines-but it never falls from the sky. * KIRKUS * Books to look forward to in 2021 * GUARDIAN, INDEPENDENT, NEW STATESMAN * Transcendent … A rolling, roiling epic … Through the interwoven stories of impetuous flyer Marian Graves and flavor-of-the-month actress Hadley Baxter, Shipstead ponders the motivating forces behind acts of daring defiance, self-fulfilment and self-destruction. An ambitious, soaring saga. * BOOKLIST * Underpinning it all is a reverence for nature, thrumming in the forests of Montana, the jagged peaks of Alaska and the stupefying ice shelves of the Antarctic. Exhilarating, masterful depictions … invites readers to contemplate both magnitude and majesty * BOOKPAGE [Starred review] * Luminous, masterful … glides seamlessly through the 20th century immersing the reader. Tremendously written. * TELEGRAPH * Impressive and gripping * SUNDAY TIMES *
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