The Flying Circus

The Flying Circus

The award-winning, national bestselling author of Whistling Past the Graveyard sends an unlikely trio on an exhilarating adventure high above the American Midwest of the 1920s in a spirited, “entertaining surprise” (Publishers Weekly) of a novel in league with Water for Elephants and The Aviator’s Wife.

They are barnstormers…the daredevil fliers whose airborne acrobatics are a thrilling spectacle crisscrossing the Heartland skies. Rising above each of their circumstances in their own “flying circus” are Cora Rose Haviland, a privileged young woman left penniless when her father’s fortune is lost; Charles “Gil” Gilchrist, a World War I pilot whose traumatic past fuels his death-defying stunts; and eighteen-year-old Henry Schuler, the son of a German immigrant farmer, on the run from shocking accusations. Each holds secrets that could destroy their makeshift family. And, on their adrenaline-charged journey of self-discovery, one of them must pay the price.

With the poignant and powerful storytelling voice that made Whistling Past the Graveyard “a classic, a book people want to pass along for generations to come” (Feathered Quill Book Reviews), Susan Crandall artfully weaves the stories of three unforgettable characters, each searching for salvation that waits just beyond the horizon.
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476772172 | 
  • July 2015
List Price $11.99 (price may vary by retailer)

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Flying Circus includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Susan Crandall. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.



Mercury’s Daredevils is a group of disparate characters who come together to perform as high-flying stunt pilots—known as barnstormers—traveling across the American Midwest in the 1920s. The group is comprised of Henry “Schuler” Jefferson, the newly orphaned son of German immigrants; Cora Rose Haviland, a bold young woman from a once-prestigious family; Charles “Gil” Gilchrist, a troubled WWI veteran pilot; and Mercury himself, a scrappy mutt who enjoys riding in motorcycles almost as much as he relishes stealing food.

Circumstances bring Henry, Cora, and Gil together, and shared ambitions help to solidify their bond. They form a makeshift family as they crisscross America’s heartland, drawing increasingly larger crowds with their death-defying airborne acrobatics. But each of them hides a complicated past that could jeopardize their relationship, and, as time goes on, they realize that telling the truth may pose the most dangerous risk of all.
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Articles About This Book

Posted on XOXO After Dark
The flying circus 9781476772141 hr
Posted on XOXO After Dark

More Books from this Author

The Myth of Perpetual Summer
Whistling Past the Graveyard

About the Author

Susan Crandall
Melissa Crandall

Susan Crandall

Susan Crandall is a critically acclaimed author of women’s fiction, romance, and suspense. She has written several award-winning novels including her first book, Back Roads, which won the RITA award for best first book, as well as Whistling Past the Graveyard, which won the SIBA 2014 Book Award for Fiction. Susan lives in Noblesville, Indiana, with her family.