The story begins when Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the worldâ€™s most powerful Internet company. She feels as if sheâ€™s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links usersâ€™ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, and the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the companyâ€™s modernity and activity. Parties last through the night, famous musicians play on the lawn, there are athletic activities, clubs, and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae canâ€™t believe her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the worldâ€”even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one womanâ€™s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.
The Circle, published by McSweeneyâ€™s, is available at Lake Forest Book Store for $27.95.