The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Monday, May 11, 2015

CIRCLING THE SUN By Paula McLain

Publisher:  Ballantine  Books
Expected Release Date: July 28, 2015
Pages: 368
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating:  4 Stars⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About the Book:  Paula McLain, author of the phenomenal New York Times bestseller The Paris Wife, takes readers into the glamorous and decadent circle of British expats living in Kenya in the 1920s. Circling the Sun tells the story of the beautiful young horse trainer, adventurer, and aviator Beryl Markham, from her childhood in British East Africa to her relationship with hunter Denys Finch Hatton and rivalry with Out of Africa author Karen Blixen—a notorious love triangle that changed the course of Beryl’s life.

Wanda's Review: 
Paula McLain certainly created an interesting cast of eccentric characters, bringing them to life, and the writing is both beautiful and descriptive. I was immediately pulled into the storyline.

Beryl Markham emerges as a strong and determined woman, but also a very complicated woman with an adventurous spirit. She becomes a horse trainer, stepping into her father’s shadow, and is granted an English trainer’s license at a young age. It was a dream - come true. Later, she becomes an aviator, where the challenges of flying brought her alive, giving her a feeling of freedom.

Beryl struggled with one failed relationship after another, many of them poor choices, and seemed to be at the center of many scandals and gossip. She becomes friends with Karen Blixen, author of Out of Africa, but soon betrays her by becoming romantically involved with Denys Finch Hatton, and a love triangle evolves. Karen and Beryl both loved Denys, but Denys belonged to no one and never had. Denys was perhaps the only man Beryl ever truly loved, and their relationship changed the direction of her life over and over again.

The beautiful and bold Beryl Markham was certainly ahead of her time, led an adventurous life, a life that never lacked confidence. A great read! 4 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Goodreads as a first-reads-winner.


About the Author:  Paula McLain has published two collections of poetry, “Less of Her” and “Stumble, Gorgeous,” both from New Issues Poetry Press, and a memoir entitled “Like Family: Growing Up in Other People's Houses” (Little, Brown, 2003). “A Ticket to Ride,” is her debut novel from Ecco/HarperCollins. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan in 1996, and has since been a writer-in-residence at Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, and The Ucross Foundation Residency Program, and received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council. Individual poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals, including the Gettysburg Review, Antioch Review, and The New York Times Sunday Magazine. As well as teaching part-time at John Carroll University, she is a core faculty member in the low-residency MFA Program in Poetry at New England College.