Get ready to go on a trip back to the roaring twenties, 1923 to be exact, and the early days of aviation when you immerse yourself in Susan Crandall's latest book The Flying Circus. Henry Schuler is on the run from the law and has a fortuitous encounter with aviator Charles "Gil" Gilchrist and the rebellious Cora Rose Haviland. Henry quickly sees that joining together with Gil would be Henry's fastest way out of Indiana. Cora also wants to join Gil's barnstorming act to satisfy her quest for adventure and to escape her own restrictive life. Gil agrees to take Henry along for the next leg of his journey but has no desire to add Cora to the party. Cora has other ideas and you rapidly learn that Cora always gets her way. Thus, The Mercury Daredevils are born with Cora Rose doing motorcycle stunts with her canine companion Mercury, Gil stunning young and old alike with his flying prowess and Henry acting as salesperson and mechanic. The journeys of these three misfits make for addictive reading.
Susan Crandall does an excellent job bringing the Roaring 20s to life. Her vivid descriptions of barnstorming and aviation races really have an authentic feel. She created a visual experience through her writing and I felt like I was there viewing the planes and races myself, or even riding along with Cora Rose and Gil.
The book also addresses the changing role of women during the 20s and how a person of German ancestry was treated following the war. You get a sense of how soldiers were effected by the war and the difficulty adjusting to life back home.
Now having read The Flying Circus and Whistling Past the Graveyard, Susan Crandall is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
I received a copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.