Circling the Sun by Paula McLain (EPUB)
Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature’s delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up, and when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships.
Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set, a decadent, bohemian community of European expats who also live and love by their own set of rules. But it’s the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart. The intensity of their love reveals Beryl’s truest self and her fate: to fly.
Beryl Markham is a flawed character – certainly , probably as flawed as the real person that this fictional autobiography is based on and as flawed as most of us , but I could not find a flaw in the way this story was told. The writing from the first sentence describing her plane , the one she flew across the Atlantic , is mesmerizing and then moves to the unbelievable descriptions when she first arrived in Kenya as a little girl and in the days beyond – simply beautiful writing.
If you loved Out of Africa, the book and/ or the movie, you will be enthralled . You’ll see the same beautiful and wild Kenya and meet again with Karen Blixen and Denys Finch Hattan. I wish I could do justice to the wonderful story telling and writing by Paula McLain. The author notes that Markham wrote a memoir called West With the Night and I look forward to reading it.