The story of ‘Circulate’ is told via emails, text messages and diary entries of the 16 year old Australian character, Elisha Baker. The main character is sent overseas at first against her choice, to an international boarding school in Ontario, Canada called Hamilton’s College.
As Elisha is adjusting to her new surroundings, by chance one late night she and two friends witness a supernatural occurrence. Elisha and her new friends then come to believe that this school is haunted and decide to investigate the apparitions and to ultimately understand why they were chosen. As they continue forward to find answers, they only seem to come across more questions. Feelings of mistrust begin to divide the new friendships and Elisha even begins to become suspicious of her teachers.
The investigations come to a climatic end when one night, Elisha and her friends are caught breaking into the Principal’s office. That night they are told the truth by their teachers… that the ‘ghosts’ they believed they had seen, were in fact members of a secular group of time travelers from the Circulate. These people have the ability to phase through the layers of time and during this process, would appear ghostly to an outsider. From this, they also learn the reason why Elisha and the rest of the students had been invited to study at this College, is because they will also one day be able to do this too.
From this moment onwards, Elisha and her friends’ whole perception of the world, space and time is changed. Everything that they had previously known or been taught, is turned upside down, as they relearn new angles to the previously established ideas in the world of modern man. Time is no longer linear and the history of mankind could be their playground.
On Elisha’s first supervised excursion back through time, she is taken to an English Aristocratic Ball in 1755 AD. There she meets and becomes entranced by a young Navy Captain, Guy Robertson. The handsome man becomes the crush of the teenaged protagonist, so much so she risks expulsion from both her school and the Circulate; when she attempts to change the time line that records Captain Robertson as dying in the Battle of Plassey in 1757 under the command of Sir Clive of India.