A RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB PICKThe author of The Paris Wife takes us to the heart of another true story: set in 1920s colonial Kenya, Circling the Sun is about an unforgettable woman who lives by nobody's rules but her own.
A RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB PICK
'Thrilling...sun-soaked, gin-fuelled...A totally absorbing and compelling read.' Richard & Judy
The author of The Paris Wife takes us to the heart of another true story: set in 1920s colonial Kenya, Circling the Sun is about an unforgettable woman who lives by nobody's rules but her own.
She was a daughter of Edwardian England, transplanted to Kenya as a young girl by parents who dreamed of life on an African farm. But by the time Beryl Markham was sixteen, that dream had fallen apart. Catapulted into a disastrous marriage, she emerged from its wreckage with one idea: to take charge of her own destiny.
Circling the Sun takes us from the brittle glamour of the 1920s Happy Valley set, fuelled by gin and adultery, to the loneliness of life as a scandalous divorcee; from the spectacular beauty of the Kenyan landscape to the manicured lawns of Nairobi's Muthaiga Club. Dazzlingly beautiful, brave, passionate and reckless, Beryl is an unforgettable heroine, whose tragic loss in love compels her to pursue her own dream - of flight, and freedom.
Paula McLain cements herself as THE writer of historical fictional memoir with Circling the Sun, giving vivid voice to Beryl Markham, a singular, extraordinary woman whose name we all know - and whose story we don't. In a brilliant move, McLain hardly focuses at all on the trans-Atlantic flight that made the aviator so famous, choosing instead to explore what happened before: Markham's unorthodox childhood in Kenya, a failed marriage, and a star-crossed love affair with Denys Finch Hatton. The result? In McLain's confident hands, Markham crackles to life, and we readers truly understand what made a woman so far ahead of her time believe she had the power to soar
Paula McLain has such a gift for bringing characters to life. I loved discovering the singular Beryl Markham, with all her strengths and passions and complexities, a woman who persistently broke the rules, despite the personal cost. She's a rebel in her own time, and a heroine for ours
Even better than her The Paris Wife . . . in Circling the Sun Markham finally gets the treatment she deserves. That it also makes for bold, absorbing fiction is so much the better - New York Daily News
Paula McLain is considered the new star of historical fiction, and for good reason. Fans of The Paris Wife will be captivated by Circling the Sun . . . beautifully written and utterly engrossing
Paula McLain received an MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan and has been awarded fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is the author of two collections of poetry, as well as a memoir, Like Family. Her novels include The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun. She lives in Cleveland with her family.