Mae Holland is a young woman who graduates from college and finds herself working at a utility company. Her best friend, Anna, steps in and has the seniority at a rising new company, the Circle, to get Mae a position. The novel opens up with how shocked Mae is at the beauty of the campus–everything designed and built with much care. At first Mae is simply working in Customer Experience but she soon becomes a prominent figure within the company and finds herself mixed in a series of unfortunate events.
Taking place sometime in the near future, the Circle believes that everything should be all knowing. They work towards developing programs that will assist in revealing the past and remaining constant contact with the present. They have slogans like SECRETS ARE LIES and PRIVACY IS THEFT that lock people into their cloud.
Although this is a fictional novel, it is very much like the battle we have to fight today with individuals constantly displaying their life for others to view, judge, comment and ‘like’. This novel shows what can happen in a world of extreme social media. And it opens up the question, is this where we are headed??
Mae is front and center throughout this entire novel. Because of her, it was immensely difficult to enjoy what I was reading. Mae’s character is someone who is very naive and makes foolish decisions. She is easily influenced and doesn’t think for herself. The Circle won her over with its power and ability to make things happens–she fails to recognize their obsession with control. That, ultimately, is her biggest fault.