I just finished up listening to the audio book Circling the Sun: A Novel by Paula McLain. I was on the waiting list for the book ahile. I had put myself on the list shortly after I read the author’s book The Paris Wife which I enjoyed.
I’ve long been a fan of the movie Out of Africa. I always love the beautiful scenery. Remember the movie?
This story takes place at the same time, for the most part, same place….also based on truth.
So did I like the book??
It’s hard sometimes for me to like books like this though. There is a lot of “partner switching”, “cheating” and flirtations that just aren’t me. It’s hard for me to relate to infidelity when that simply is not who I am. Was the story good. Yes. Am I glad I saw another side of a similar story from the movie? Yes. Did I love the main character? No.
Here’s what Amazon had to say, “Paula McLain, author of the phenomenal bestseller The Paris Wife, now returns with her keenly anticipated new novel, transporting readers to colonial Kenya in the 1920s. Circling the Sun brings to life a fearless and captivating woman—Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, who as Isak Dinesen wrote the classic memoir Out of Africa.
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.
Set against the majestic landscape of early-twentieth-century Africa, McLain’s powerful tale reveals the extraordinary adventures of a woman before her time, the exhilaration of freedom and its cost, and the tenacity of the human spirit.”
Amazon readers say 4.4 stars. I guess I’m going just a bit less for the reason I stated earlier. It was hard for me to relate to the Beryl. I could never pick a place over my child. I could never let men treat me like that. I wouldn’t have an affair. Good books for me have characters I can relate to or feel great compassion for. Beryl didn’t do that for me.