Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Flying Circus, by Susan Crandall {ends 3/9}

They stepped closer to the window. An aerobatic competition and air race at Clover Field in Santa Monica on Saturday was advertised.

"That must be it!" she said. "More speed. Why else would fate have put that there, right now, when we're talking about it?"
"Fate didn't put it there. Fate doesn't use cloth adhesive tape."

She swatted his arm. "Stop being so literal."
He shrugged and shoved his hands in his pockets. He didn't like where this was heading.

"How many women fly racers?" she asked
"You don't even like piloting."
"Well, racing would make it interesting! We have to go."
"We can go. But don't get your heart set on it. To be competitive you have to have the best machine. And that means money. Probably lots of it."
"We'll see, Henry. We'll see."

This city had plenty of movie houses to choose from. Why had they come here?
Maybe Fate did use adhesive tape.

I do enjoy books about historical periods in the United States, and this would qualify - it takes place in the 1920s, when airplanes were new and exciting, and just starting to pop up across the country.

Official synopsis:
From the bestselling and award-winning author of Whistling Past the Graveyard comes an adventure tale about two daredevils and a farm boy who embark on the journey of a lifetime across America’s heartland in the Roaring Twenties.

Set in the rapidly changing world of 1920s America, this is a story of three people from very different backgrounds: Henry “Schuler” Jefferson, son of German immigrants from Midwestern farm country; Cora Rose Haviland, a young woman of privilege whose family has lost their fortune; and Charles “Gil” Gilchrist, an emotionally damaged WWI veteran pilot. Set adrift by life-altering circumstances, they find themselves bound together by need and torn apart by blind obsessions and conflicting goals. Each one holds a secret that, if exposed, would destroy their friendship. But their journey of adventure and self-discovery has a price—and one of them won’t be able to survive it.

As they crisscross the heartland, exploring the rapidly expanding role of aviation from barnstorming to bootlegging, from a flying circus to the dangerous sport of air racing, the three companions form a makeshift family. It’s a one-of-a-kind family, with members as adventurous as they are vulnerable, and as fascinating as they are flawed. But whatever adventure—worldly or private—they find themselves on, they’re guaranteed to be a family you won’t forget.


The characters in this book were interesting - we have Henry Jefferson, real name Henry Schuler, who is running from the law, even though he didn't actually commit a crime. Cora Haviland, who comes from a privileged background, but wants to race motorcycles and airplanes, something that women "just don't do" in the 1920s. And Charles "Gil" Gilchrist, a talented pilot who also flew in WWI. There's also somewhat of a love triangle between the three characters, as Cora eventually kisses Gil, yet Henry has already fallen in love with her.

This novel took me a while to get through, mostly because of its length (384 pages) but also because it's a little bit slower-paced, though some of the scenes are more exciting. It was fun to read about 1920s America and how fascinated they were with airplanes and airplane stunts - to some extent, in 2016 we are still fascinated by airplane stunts, but airplanes themselves are definitely more commonplace.

I'd recommend this book for anyone who likes historical novels and/or is a fan of airplanes and how they work. 

3.5 stars out of 5.
{Click here to purchase - < $10 for a paperback copy!}

GIVEAWAY:

Enter via the widget below. Two of my lucky readers will win a paperback copy of this book! 

Giveaway will end on Wednesday, March 9th, at 11:59pm EST and the winners will be notified via email the next day, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner(s) will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Flying Circus

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