Circling the Sun

Growing up in Kenya on her father's horse farm, the young Beryl Markham was able to make her own rules: exploring the farm's rugged terrain, becoming an expert horsewoman, befriending the Kipsigis natives who worked for and with her father. But when Beryl becomes a teenager, her father's business faces financial ruin and she is left to fend for herself. Fiercely independent yet unsure of social conventions, Beryl falls into a series of disastrous romantic and professional relationships. In her third novel, Circling the Sun, Paula McLain explores the complexities of Beryl's life and traces her journey from young girl to horse trainer to world-renowned aviatrix.

McLain's skill at blending fact and fiction dazzles in Circling the Sun. Drawing on Markham's memoir West with the Night and other historical sources, McLain paints a lushly colored portrait of 1920s Kenya. Beryl's love for Kenya's wild landscapes, as well as her deep loneliness, comes through on every page.

In prose as luminous as the African skies, McLain charts Beryl's journey of self-discovery: searching, stumbling, getting back up and eventually soaring. Heartbreaking and defiantly hopeful--like Beryl herself--Circling the Sun is a masterful story of hardship, courage and love. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

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