Title: Circling The Sun
Author: Paula McLain
Published: July 2015
This novel is set in a far away land in the 1920’s. Paula McLain’s latest novel takes us on an adventure following the exciting life of Beryl Markham and her journeys in Kenya.
Beryl was brought to Kenya as a little girl with her father, brother and mother. Unfortunately as time went on, her mother discovered that she was not cut out for the uncharted territories, and abandoned Beryl and her father to fend for themselves, taking Beryl’s brother, and herself back to England.
Beryl and her father were left with their farm, numerous horses, and a Kipsigis Tribe (native to Kenya) to keep them company, and that suited them just fine. Being surrounded by nothing but wild animals and men transformed Beryl into a fierce young women who wouldn’t take anything from anybody.
Later on in life, Beryl not only faces the scorching heat of Africa, but finds herself stuck in a relationship that is not the fairy tale she had hope for. Her passion for horses and her love of training is what keeps her sane during these difficult times.
A lovely story set in Africa during the early 1920’s reveals that Beryl Markham is a women seeking the adventure of a lifetime.
Who was my favourite character and why?
I would have to say that I enjoyed Beryl Markham’s character the best. Despite her character flaws, and her problems with her marriage, she is able to remain a strong independent women who completed and accomplished incredible things.
Were the characters relatable and/or believable?
This novel was set in the 1920’s in Kenya, but despite the gap in eras, these characters are certainly realistic. Most, if not all, of the major characters had numerous layers and great backstories which adds to the credibility of each character. Without a backstory, I find that the characters seem two dimensional and uninteresting, but with their backstory, they are brought to life, and seem much more intriguing.
Did the story keep you on the edge of your seat?
This wasn’t your average action novel that had me biting my nails to see what would happen next, but it did have the ability to keep me turning the pages. Beryl was such a busy lady and always seemed to be flying planes, training horses, sneaking of with men despite being married. She was always doing something new and exciting that kept me wanting to know what would happen next!
Something I would change about the novel?
This is the first novel I have read by Paula McLain, and I enjoyed it. I will definitely be looking out to see what she writes next! That being said, I would not change anything about this novel.
To sum it up, I enjoyed being brought along on Beryl’s adventure and being transported to the faraway land of Kenya. Despite Beryl’s flaws, she was able to accomplish some great things in her lifetime, and I enjoyed getting to know more about her life. If you enjoy novels about adventure and exotic locations, I would definitely recommend picking this one up for the remaining few weeks of summer!
Overall, I would give this novel 3.5 out of 5 tea mugs.
Until next time,
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