As a young girl, Beryl Markham was brought to Kenya from Britain by parents dreaming of a new life. For her mother the dream quickly turned sour, and she returned home; Beryl was brought up by her father, who switched between indulgence and heavy-handed authority, allowing her first to run wild on their farm then incarcerating her in the classroom.
The scourge of governesses and a serial absconder from boarding school, by the age of 16 Beryl had been catapulted into a disastrous marriage - but it was in facing up to this reality that she took charge of her own destiny.
Scandalizing high society with her errant behaviour, she left her husband and became the first woman ever to hold a professional racehorse trainer's licence. After falling in with the notoriously hedonistic and gin-soaked Happy Valley set, Beryl soon became embroiled in a complex love triangle with the writer Karen Blixen and big-game hunter Denys Finch Hatton (immortalized in Blixen's memoir Out of Africa).
It was this unhappy affair which set tragedy in motion while awakening Beryl to her truest self and to her fate: to fly.
©2015 Paula McLain (P)2015 Isis Audiobooks
"Paula McLain cements herself as 'the writer' of historical fictional memoir with Circling the Sun, giving vivid voice to Beryl Markham, a singular, extraordinary woman whose name we all know - and whose story we don't. In a brilliant move, McLain hardly focuses at all on the trans-Atlantic flight that made the aviator so famous, choosing instead to explore what happened before: Markham's unorthodox childhood in Kenya, a failed marriage, and a star-crossed love affair with Denys Finch Hatton. The result? In McLain's confident hands, Markham crackles to life, and we readers truly understand what made a woman so far ahead of her time believe she had the power to soar." (Jodi Picoult)
"Paula McLain has such a gift for bringing characters to life. I loved discovering the singular Beryl Markham, with all her strengths and passions and complexities, a woman who persistently broke the rules, despite the personal cost. She's a rebel in her own time, and a heroine for ours." (Jojo Moyes)
I almost gave up listening several times, despite being gripped by the real life story of Beryl Markham, who lived an extraordinary life in Africa, contemperary of the more famous Karen Blixen (Out of Africa). Unfortunately I found the narrator extremely off-putting, over-enunciating and way too 'put on posh' for my taste, and what I believe would suit the story. Yes, Beryl was undoubtedly English upper class but she could never be this prissy!
Say something about yourself!
This is the second Paula McLain novel Ive read and I really enjoyed it. The life of Beryl Markham is the topic of this work.
I got it as recommended by Richard and Judy bookclub.
The narrative was crisp and clear and I felt it added greatly to the story telling.
Beryl was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic from East to West. Gossip and innuendo followed Beryl for most of her life and she allowed it to go unchallenged.
I so enjoyed this book and found Beryl remarkable and full of life and challenge. Beryl had a difficult life being abandoned by her mother at a young age in Kenya. Beryl was then raised by her father and the native Kipsigis tribe from his farm. Beryl developed into an extremely independent fine young person with a love for nature and its creatures.
Beryl was the first woman in Kenya to gain a horse trainer certificate. She married young as wished by her father knowing straight away it was a mistake. Beryl left her husband making her own way training horses. She met Denys Finch Hatton who mainly led safaris. Denys had a long standing relationship with Karen Blixen as detailed in film ‘Out of Africa’. Denys led Beryl to fly but most of the story is taken up with her race horsing days. The beauty of Kenya comes through clearly.
I so loved this book and would highly recommend it
I felt transported to another era and another continent while listening to this excellent book. The character of Beryl felt real and strong, and how she responded to and created the twists and turns in her story was gripping and brilliant.
the story was fullyn engrossing to the point i fell in love with the country and the people. beryl is an inspiration and this story does her life a great justice
I love reading stories about amazing and brave women who are ahead of their times. So was Beryl Markham, great life with some spicy stories to tell!
Collonial Africa setting, Beryl's bravery and curiosity, horses and airoplanes.
Well read - easy to follow and attractve to listen to!
not necessarily, but very interesting!
I probably liked Paris Wife more but this one is also great!
"Circling the Sun Beryl Markham"
It is an excellent book based on the remarkable life of Berylk Markham. It has everyithing abandonment by a mother adoring a father not just coping but managing her life. Romance tragedy survival against all odds. A life as interesting if not more so than that of Karen Bliksen and Her Out of Africa book.
Out of Africa by Karen Bliksen
BERYL MARKHAM - Circling the Sun it needs nothing different
The author's note explains her obvious feeling for her character.
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