After reading for almost 24 hours straight, I saved the
last chapter for this morning. Yes, friends, this is one of "those" books. From the author of The Paris Wife, Paula McLain, brings us the unbelievable life of Beryl Markham. In Kenya during the early 1900's, long before it was Kenya, Beryl grew up running free with her father on a picturesque horse farm. He was a renowned horse trainer, and treated Beryl like an equal. She helped him train the horses, she did not complain or back down from any task too difficult. She befriended the local tribe. It wasn't until she was 12 that he was told "that girl should be educated and needs to wear shoes!" As if it had never crossed his mind, he quickly hired Emma as housekeeper/governess/future wife - sort of. Beryl is no ordinary girl. She is tough and brave and completely has a mind of her own. Through her life she is torn equally by much success and failure, love and abandonment. Meeting Denys Finch Hatton (Out of Africa, so yes, you already have Robert Redford's gorgeous face in mind) at a young age to become lifelong friends, sometimes partners and always soulmates is both beautiful and tragic. Beryl makes mistakes while trying to sustain some type of livelihood, although she possesses incredible talent, it is unheard of at this time for a woman to attain too much independence or freedom. This book was UNPUTDOWNABLE. The characters were magnificent and I feel drunk on this time and this place. This author's historical detail and easy writing makes Circling the Sun an absolute must for anyone's summer reading list.
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