The Perfect Golden Circle

The Perfect Golden Circle is a thrilling introduction to a British literary star and a moving meditation on history, trauma and the urge to create. Set in 1989, the novel takes place almost exclusively in the fields of rural England, where protagonists Calvert and Redbone use boards and rope to create massive, complex crop circles. Benjamin Myers (The Offing) maintains a tight focus on his two principal characters, societal outcasts with an intense, almost theological devotion to their craft. Perhaps his most impressive achievement is how, in chapters dedicated to the construction of a particular crop circle, Myers manages to stretch his focus far beyond the confines of the field, to encompass the social and political conflicts roiling the rest of the country.

Calvert and Redbone are The Perfect Golden Circle's only consistent characters, with a few others making unwelcome intrusions into the world they have created for themselves. Calvert is a veteran of the Falklands War with scars both physical and mental, while Redbone is a relic of a counterculture era that seems increasingly out of place in Thatcherite Britain. Their mission in creating the crop circles is both simple and difficult to define precisely, embodied by Redbone's repeated motto: "Fuel the myth and strive for beauty."

In the fields at night with Calvert and Redbone, Myers's evocative prose captures the unlikely friendship growing between the two characters as well as the ways their work helps them heal and find purpose. The Perfect Golden Circle is closely bound to its characters, but its reflective mood takes readers on enthralling excursions into England's vast history. --Hank Stephenson, the Sun magazine, manuscript reader

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