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.
About the Author
Paula McLain is the author of the novels The Paris Wife and A Ticket to Ride, the memoir Like Family: Growing Up in Other People’s Houses, and two collections of poetry. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in Cleveland with her family.
This semi-fiction book describes the life of a bold woman, Beryl Markham, the record-setting pilot, the racehourse trainer who fights to make her way among the rigid social conventions of the British expatriate community in colonial Kenya. The novel is about the difficulties of life and the tenacity of the human spirit.