- Beryl Markham. Like you, I didn’t know who she was until I picked up this book. She is the most incredible woman. Constantly fighting the odds the be an independent woman in the inter-war years in colonial Kenya. Oh yeah, and she was the first female horse trainer and first person to fly across the Atlantic is a westward direction. I’m telling you, this woman is incredible.
- Horses. I thought this book was going to be about flying – it’s not! Beryl doesn’t even get in a plane until the book is almost done. Yeah, I was shocked too. It’s about her life with horses – training them and racing them.
- Romance. Beryl was not lucky in love. In fact she was a wreck. Her trainwreck relationships illustrate how hard love and marriage were in a time when a woman was there to serve her man (gag).
I don’t know what else I can say to convince you. Go read this now! I really and truly enjoyed it and learned so much.
Who would like this book? In recent years there have been a number of novels about women married to famous men. You’ve heard me complain about it before. Circling the Sun, on the other hand is not about a woman who stands by her man and supports him to victory. Instead it is about a woman who does all sorts on wonderful things on her own – and she divorces any husband who stands in her way! The novel also paints a fascinating picture of colonial Kenya (a favorite setting of mine) and the Happy Valley set. For more on that, I highly recommend The Bolter by Frances Osborne.
Thank you, as always, to my friends at Penguin RandomHouse Canada for sending me a copy of this book.