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The Flying Circus    by Susan Crandall order for
Flying Circus
by Susan Crandall
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

Susan Crandall brings us small-craft aviation's early years in the United States, with all its daredevil excitement and marketing ballyhoo, in The Flying Circus. She also gives us real people, in particular three who have aching hurts. Henry, Cora and Gil meet by chance but somehow click. Gil is the knowledgeable pilot, Henry the reliable mechanic and Cora the one with the big ideas.

They barnstorm over the country and experience success after success. But each carries a burden from the past, unknown to the others, which is bound to come to the fore. When it does, their relationship will have to change, and only one of them is prepared for this kind of cost.

These are characters to remember, but that's not all that's interesting here. Barnstorming gives way to air racing, a dangerous sport that ratchets up the excitement. Even if you don't know anything about planes, you feel you are in good hands as the story digs into the nuts and bolts of flying and repairing them.

While the tricky flights move right along, the characters' secrets seem to bog them down a bit in the story's middle. It takes an awfully long time, maybe too long, for the truth to start coming out. When it does we segue for a time to concentrate on Henry's life before finally getting back to a great flying finale.

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