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Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

circling the sunThe author of The Paris Wife has written another work of fabulous historic fiction. This time the focus is adventurer Beryl Markham (1902–1986), the British-born Kenyan aviator.

In addition to being a record breaking (1936) transatlantic pilot, Markham was the first English woman to be licensed as a race horse trainer. She grew up in Africa, learning horse training at her father's knee. Markham was raised without a mother present, and from a young age, she ran with the local tribesmen and their children, and she spoke Swahili. Governesses and boarding schools could not tame her.

Beryl Markham wrote a memoir entitled West with the Night, which was the inspiration for this fictional interpretation of her life. McLain has done a great job telling the story of Markham's unconventional, adventuresome life, and the author has created a page-turning story about horse racing, flying, love, and lust.

The book may remind you of Out of Africa. I was sad when I finished it, but now I can't wait to discuss it with my book clubs.

 

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