Monday, September 14, 2015

Circling the Sun

Circling the Sun: A Novel
By Paula McLain
Ballantine Books, 2015.  366 pgs. Historical Fiction

Beryl Markham was born in England but raised by her father in colonial Kenya. Growing up alongside native children, Beryl learned to run, jump, hunt and above all survive in an undeniably beautiful but easily deadly environment. Her unconventional childhood produced a fascinating woman who repeatedly overcame daunting challenges and built for herself a life full of adventure and love.

Beryl’s story crosses into the better known story of Karen Blixen as told in her memoir “Out of Africa” when she falls in love with Denys Finch Hatton. Their complicated love affair introduces Beryl to the world of flight which propelled her toward becoming a pioneering woman pilot.

“Circling the Sun” further secures Paula McLain as a prominent historical fiction author. Her choice of subjects, thorough research and graceful writing results in a beautiful novel readers are sure to devour.


1 comment:

DeskSet said...

I enjoy reading about strong women trailblazers, so when all of the book reviews stressed Markham's work as one of the first female pilots, I became intrigued. This is a bit misleading since the book actually focuses on Markham's life before she became a pilot; when she was one of the first professional female horse trainers. Still an interesting topic, especially given where she grew up and the time period. This made me curious to read Out of Africa, or Markham's own biography, West with the Night.

I listened to the audio version of the book, and the narrator's voice initially put me off of the story. She reads in a rather breathy tone that sounds very young and naive. However, the narrator eventually helped me get into the story more since this book covers Beryl's younger years.