Disappointing Themes in Great Circle

Great Circle

A couple days ago I started reading Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead. At 600+ pages it is a literary behemoth, but based on the synopsis, I was eager to dive in. One of the early chapters is about a transgender Native American in the 1800s. Warning bells went off in my head. When one of the main characters has sex with her brother, I knew it was time to be done. Many fellow reviewers put this book in the DNF pile, too, so it was the right decision for me. According to them, Great Circle includes incest, rape, abortion, and gender and sexual fluidity. I’m no puritan, but that’s more than my mind can handle, no matter how good the story. I’m irritated that the publisher failed to mention the controversial elements of this novel. If they had, I certainly wouldn’t have requested a review copy.