Circling the Sun by Paula McClain

Circling the Sun is a historical fiction account of the life of Beryl Markham, with much of the story line based on true events. The setting is early 1920’s Africa, namely the various colonies of Kenya.

I loved this book so much! I really enjoyed reading about Beryl’s story and would loved to have known her during her lifetime. The author’s notes at the end of the book provided much insight into the life of the real Beryl Markham. Beryl Markham is a strong female character who survived being attacked by a lion as a child, being abandoned by her mother at the age of four, and living a childhood running free with the native people of Kenya. That is when she became best friends with Ruta, who would be by her side for her whole life no matter what wild scheme she would decide to pursue, such as when she decided to stop being a race horse trainer to become the first female bush pilot in Africa. She was widely known for her success as a young female trainer during a time when only men would train horses. But Beryl was determined to follow her dreams and she worked hard for the success. Her personal life and relationships with men over her life were quite fascinating. Some relationships were forged out of necessity, others out of indebtedness, and only one of true love with Denys Finch Hatton, a well known hunting guide and pilot. I would love to learn more about Beryl, and I appreciated the author’s resource list for further information, including a book written by Beryl herself. If you like adventure, romance, historical fiction, or just a good read, this is the book for you!

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