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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.

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1,3941578,298 (3.9)125
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Showing 1-5 of 159 (next | show all)
McLain does a wonderful job of bringing early 20th-century Africa to life, attacking all the reader's senses, and the character of Markham is beautifully and believably drawn. However, the elusive Denys Finch-Hatton remains a self-centered straw man. We still don't know why two strong, intelligent, independent women were so obsessed by him. Most readers are going to want to go on, however, to read both Markham's "West With the Night" and to sample some Isaak Dinesen. ( )
  LyndaInOregon | Dec 14, 2018 |
A novelization of the life of Beryl Markham - a woman who I had never heard of before. Her claim to fame is that she was the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean from east to west without any stops - which she did in 1936. The prologue to the book occurs during this flight and as Beryl goes through a crisis having to do with running out of fuel she recalls the events of her life that led her up to that point. I had never heard much about what it was like for British families who colonized Kenya and those parts of the book were pretty interesting. Beryl learned the ins and outs of tribal society and living in the wilds of Africa, and then later has to learn how to deal with British society. But she was never very conventional and her lifelong love of horses also led her to become a horse trainer at a time when women were outsiders in that field. She had many ups and downs on the romantic front as well and some of the poignant parts of the book were about her entanglements with men and how that and her father's monetary losses put her in situations where she was at the mercy of the men in her life - financially at least. I couldn't help but admire the resolve that helped her overcome these difficulties. While this book wasn't one that really stuck with me It was a very enjoyable read and I would recommend it to those who enjoy historical fiction and especially tales of strong, unconventional women. ( )
  debs4jc | Nov 20, 2018 |
A form of historical fiction but I had a hard time with the main character. I found her to be selfish, self-absorbed and trying everything. If she had lived in these times she probably would have followed the hippie lifestyle and then heaven knows where she would wind up. As it was she went from a lonely child in Africa to marrying a man when she was 16 (because her father was loosing their farm), to running away and being kept by someone else, to having a baby and leaving it with the man's family, to training horses and then flying. Great life but rather unbelievable although it is true. ( )
  joannemonck | Nov 12, 2018 |
McLain wows me again. I love this book as I loved "The Paris Wife". A brilliant writer and a beautiful pick for the audio narrating. A woman who is forgotten in many history books and should be brought into them. I just checked my daughter's copy of "goodnight stories for rebel girls" and she is not mentioned there. I am disappointed. Someone with this story of accomplishment on the time when women were property, she should be mentioned more in women's history. ( )
  Starla_Aurora | Oct 29, 2018 |
Paula McLain excels at historical fiction that exposes exceptional women of the past, in this case Beryl Markham. Fascination recreation of Beryl's life from childhood in colonial Kenya and horse racing/training to a record breaking flight piloting a plane to the U.S. 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. ( )
  bogopea | Oct 26, 2018 |
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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.
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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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