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Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
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Circling the Sun (2015)

by Paula McLain

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2461539,190 (3.9)121
  1. 20
    Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (Tanya-dogearedcopy)
  2. 10
    West with the Night by Beryl Markham (Tanya-dogearedcopy)
  3. 00
    Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O'Keeffe by Dawn Tripp (Limelite)
    Limelite: Georgia O'Keefe and Beryl Markham were two fiercely independent women determined to carve their own lives outside of acceptable societal norms. Two passionate women, capable of great love, sacrifice, and thirst for a full life. I think they would have admired and liked each other.… (more)
  4. 00
    A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn (carriehh)
    carriehh: Africa, 1920s
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» See also 121 mentions

English (154)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (156)
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
Just finished listening to this audio today. Loved this story which was read by the author, Paula McLain about the life of Beryl Markham who was raised in Kenya and grew to be a bold young woman who trained horses and learned to fly in spite of her unconventional upbringing. It’s about a woman before her time and all her adventures and the tenacity of her human spirit. Highly recommended! ( )
  EadieB | Aug 16, 2018 |
Loved, loved, loved this! This is historical fiction of the life of Beryl Markham, who is best known for her celebrated flight in 1936 across the Atlantic. This feat was only one of many courageous steps Beryl took in her life that set her at odds with the societal view of women. Raised by her father on a horse ranch in Kenya, she had an unusual childhood that spawned an unusual and independent minded woman.

One of the intriguing parts of Beryl's life story was her involvement with Karen Blixen, Berkeley Cole and Denys Finch-Hatton (of Out of Africa fame). For me, this was like revisiting old friends and finding them somehow changed. It was a fascinating chance to see these people through the lens of another person who was there and participated in their stories. It was almost painful to me, as a long time admirer of both the book and the film, to see a side of Finch-Hatton that fit and yet did not fit my preconceived notions of who he was.

When anyone writes of this era in Kenya, Kenya becomes a character. McLain developed the character of Kenya just as deftly as she did the character of Beryl Markham. I rooted for Markham, while sometimes puzzled at her decisions and choices. It was difficult to put myself in the position of this woman who was so independent and adventurous and yet so constrained by the society and era in which she lived. McClain did nothing if not bring her to life and force me to deal with all the complexities of character that surely were present in this very real person.

I loved McClain's portrayal of Hadley Richardson in [b:The Paris Wife|8683812|The Paris Wife|Paula McLain|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320545874s/8683812.jpg|13556031] but I think she has even outdone herself with this portrait of Beryl Markham. What an amzing writer. ( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
Fantastic book about a figure I hadn't known about before - Beryl Markham. At first, I thought the book was about Amelia Earhart. Beryl was a fascinating person who had many lovers and adventures. She was the first female horse trainer in Kenya and the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, solo, from England to America. Paula McLain's writing was also top-notch, folding you effortlessly into the story. ( )
  bearette24 | May 10, 2018 |
For me, this was just "meh". I'd rate it somewhere between 2 - 3 starts (most likely a 2.75). On a positive note, the writing was beautiful, but I was significantly irritated with all characters by the end of the novel. I also have extremely strong (negative) opinions about women who marry more than 3 times, abandon their children, and continually fail to learn from her mistakes. Meet Beryl Markham (formerly Perves, nee Clutterbuck). She is all of the above mentioned flaws. I cannot believe that this was rated 4 & 5 stars by most people. PLEASE!! ( )
  ppmarkgraf | May 5, 2018 |
On a good note, this was beautifully written. But...by the time I finished it, I no longer cared for or about any of the characters. Sure Beryl did remarkable things in her life (1st female horse trainer, 1st woman to fly trans-continentally from England to NY), but I couldn't get past the fact that she was continually the cause of her strife and heartbreak by the poor choices she made. I'm over her. ( )
  ppmarkgraf | May 5, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Paula McLainprimary authorall editionscalculated
Blanchette, Dana LeighDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chapman, IsabelleTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dinçer, YaseminÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klynstra, LauraCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McEwan, KatherineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simeonova, IlinaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Suursalu, KarinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
The Vega Gull is peacock blue with silver wings, more splendid than any bird I've known, and somehow mine to fly.
Quotations
Before Kenya was Kenya, when it was millions of years old and yet still somehow new, the name belonged only to our most magnificent mountain.
Her absence was still so loud and so heavy, I ached with it, feeling hollow and lost.  I didn't know how to forget my mother any more than my father knew how he might comfort me.  He pulled me—long limbed and a little dirty, as I always seemed to be—onto his lap, and we sat like that quietly for a while.
I grew as tall as Kibii and then taller, running just as swiftly through the tall gold grasses, our feet floured with dust.
This was certain: I belonged on the farm and in the bush.  I was part of the thorn trees and the high jutting escarpment, the bruised-looking hills thick with vegetation; the deep folds between the hills, and the high cornlike grasses.  I had come alive here, as if I'd been given a second birth, and a truer one.  This was my home, and though one it would all trickle through my fingers like so much red dust, for as long as childhood lasted it was a heaven fitted exactly to me.  A place I knew by heart.  The place in the world I'd been made for.
Chpt 62:  Karen buried Denys on the farm, as she knew he wanted it, at the crest of Lamwia, along the Ngong ridge. ... No one could challenge their bond, or doubt how she had loved him.  Or how truly he had been hers.  One day she was going to write about him -- write "him" in such a way that would seal the two of them together for ever.  And from those pages, I would be absent.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Haiku summary
Girl loves Africa -
Raises horses; learns to fly -
Soars across ocean
(Time2Read2)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345534182, Hardcover)

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, author of 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 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.

Praise for Paula McLain and The Paris Wife

“McLain has brought Hadley [Hemingway] to life in a novel that begins in a rush of early love. . . . A moving portrait of a woman slighted by history, a woman whose . . . story needed to be told.”The Boston Globe

The Paris Wife creates the kind of out-of-body reading experience that dedicated book lovers yearn for, nearly as good as reading Hemingway for the first time—and it doesn’t get much better than that.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Exquisitely evocative . . . This absorbing, illuminating book gives us an intimate view of a sympathetic and perceptive woman, the striving writer she married, the glittering and wounding Paris circle they were part of. . . . McLain reinvents the story of Hadley and Ernest’s romance with the lucid grace of a practiced poet.”The Seattle Times

“A novel that’s impossible to resist . . . It’s all here, and it all feels real.”People

“Powerful and devastating . . . McLain pulls off a delicate balancing act, making the macho Hemingway of myth a complex and sympathetic figure.”USA Today

“A sweet love story with surprising emotional impact.”Chicago Sun-Times

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"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, author of 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. Praise for Paula McLain and The Paris Wife"McLain has brought Hadley [Hemingway] to life in a novel that begins in a rush of early love. A moving portrait of a woman slighted by history, a woman whose. story needed to be told."--The Boston Globe"The Paris Wife creates the kind of out-of-body reading experience that dedicated book lovers yearn for, nearly as good as reading Hemingway for the first time--and it doesn't get much better than that."--Minneapolis Star Tribune"Exquisitely evocative. This absorbing, illuminating book gives us an intimate view of a sympathetic and perceptive woman, the striving writer she married, the glittering and wounding Paris circle they were part of. McLain reinvents the story of Hadley and Ernest's romance with the lucid grace of a practiced poet."--The Seattle Times"A novel that's impossible to resist. It's all here, and it all feels real."--People"Powerful and devastating. McLain pulls off a delicate balancing act, making the macho Hemingway of myth a complex and sympathetic figure."--USA Today"A sweet love story with surprising emotional impact."--Chicago Sun-Times"--… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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