Circling the Sun

Paula McLain. Ballantine, $28 (384p) ISBN 978-0-345-53418-7
McLain's (The Paris Wife) latest showcases her immersive command of setting and character, fictionalizing the exploits of real-life aviator and author Beryl Markham in British Kenya in the early 20th century. Beryl marries young when her father's fortunes fall, but is determined to strike out independently as a horse trainer, even though there are no female horse trainers and she's only in her late teens. She succeeds, though her marriage suffers, and finds herself drawn into a love triangle with famed hunter Denys Finch Hatton and writer Karen Blixen. While her successes in the horse-racing business increase, the scandal around her makes her flee to England for a while. Upon her return to Kenya, her need for freedom has further personal consequences, but also leaves her as the first professional female pilot in the world at a time when flying was exceptionally dangerous, and a record-setter for crossing the Atlantic. McLain paints an intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants. Markham's true life was incredibly adventurous, and it's easy for readers to identify with this woman who refused to be pigeonholed by her gender. Readers will enjoy taking in the rich world McLain has created. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/15/2015
Release date: 07/28/2015
Genre: Fiction
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-0359-1
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-385-67723-3
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-0-8041-9492-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-98992-5
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-98990-1
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-0-385-67721-9
Paperback - 400 pages
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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