Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Circling the Sun: A Novel Paperback – May 31, 2016
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
An Amazon Best Book of July 2015: Sometimes a reader craves a good, old-fashioned yarn. This much anticipated novel from the author of The Paris Wife is exactly that: an engrossing story of love and adventure in colonial Africa, complete with gorgeous landscape, dissolute British ex-pats, and lots of derring-do with horses, motorcars and airplanes. That it is also the best kind of contemporary historical novel – the kind that teaches you something about the real people and events of the time – is a bonus. At the center of the novel is Beryl Markham (born – you gotta love it – Clutterbuck), the headstrong daughter of a British colonial who grew up more comfortable among the people and animals of her adopted Kenya than in the homes of its landed gentry. When Beryl’s mother leaves the family and her father gives up the farm, she marries (at 16) a gentleman farmer, a drunk too louche to be much of a husband. Like privileged but love-hungry teenage girls past and future, Beryl seeks companionship from her horses, becoming the first and greatest female horse trainer in the region. Along the way, she hobnobs with Kenyan high society, including, but not limited to, Karen Blixen (who authored her own epic story, Out of Africa, under the pen name Isaak Dinesen) and her lover Denys Finch Hatten (who will always be Robert Redford to those of us who watched him play the role in the movie version of Dinesen’s book.) Much bed-hopping and relationship-boundary-pushing ensue, with all the teeth-gnashing and yearning that goes along with it, no matter the era. Those who knew about Markham before reading this book may be surprised by how little there is about her as a pilot. She is, after all, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic from east to west, and she wrote her own memoir, 1942’s West with the Night; here, it is only in the book’s frame – a prologue and its final chapter – that we get a glimpse of the way that Beryl will, literally, soar. But McLain doesn’t seem interested in portraying her as a trailblazing feminist with an idea about changing the world; the Beryl Markham here is noteworthy precisely because she is NOT those things so much as a girl who grew up pushing back against conventions that got in her way. “But you’ve never been afraid of anything, have you?” Finch Hatten says to her in their last meeting. “I have, though,” she replies. “I’ve been terrified. . .I just haven’t let that stop me.” -- Sara Nelson--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“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, which . . . is both beautifully written and utterly engrossing.”—Ann Patchett, Country Living
“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. 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.”—Jodi Picoult, author of Leaving Time
“Enchanting . . . A worthy heir to [Isak] Dinesen, McLain will keep you from eating, sleeping, or checking your e-mail—though you might put these pages down just long enough to order airplane tickets to Nairobi. . . . What’s certain is that the reluctantly earthbound armchair reader will cherish this gift for the hidden adventurer in all of us. Like Africa as it’s so gorgeously depicted here, this novel will never let you go.”—The Boston Globe
“Famed aviator Beryl Markham is a novelist’s dream. . . . [A] wonderful portrait of a complex woman who lived—defiantly—on her own terms.”—People (Book of the Week)
“Circling the Sun soars.”—Newsday
“Captivating . . . [an] irresistible novel.”—The Seattle Times
“Like its high-flying subject, Circling the Sun is audacious and glamorous and hard not to be drawn in by. Beryl Markham may have married more than once, but she was nobody’s wife.”—Entertainment Weekly
“[An] eloquent evocation of Beryl’s daring life.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Richly textured . . . Markham’s life is the stuff of legend. . . . McLain has created a voice that is lush and intricate to evoke a character who is enviably brave and independent.”—NPR
“Bold, absorbing fiction.”—New York Daily News
“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.”—Jojo Moyes, author of Me Before You
“By the last pages, readers will hate to say goodbye to such an irresistible narrator.”—Miami Herald
“Paula McLain brings Beryl to glorious life, portraying a woman with a great many flaws that seem to result from her zest for life and inability to follow the roles expected of women in the 1920s and ’30s.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Amelia Earhart gets all the airtime, but this pilot had the juicier past. . . . McLain crafts a story readers won’t soon forget.”—Good Housekeeping
“With a sharp eye for detail and style to spare, Paula McLain captures the nuances of complex relationships, the rigidity of social conventions, and the wide skies and breathtaking vistas of Africa.”—Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train
“Set in 1920s Kenya, this fictionalized history of the beautiful, high-flying aviator Beryl Markham is as luminous as its headstrong heroine. An exhilarating ride.”—Family Circle
“Paula McLain is yet another twenty-first-century woman who can write rings around the hyper-masculine men who dominate so much of American fiction.”—Liz Smith
“McLain’s skill at blending fact and fiction, which dazzled readers in The Paris Wife, is on full display. . . . Circling the Sun is a masterful story of hardship, courage and love.”—Shelf Awareness
From the Hardcover edition.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
I was captured by the beautiful descriptions of Africa and the different seasons. The life of the Colonial British in Kenya during the twenties and thirties was educational for me. I enjoyed reading about that lifestyle and the "rules" of behavior for the Colonialists.
This book has led me to read Beryl Markham's autobiography West With The Night. I have the copy with photographs. I was especially interested in seeing one of Denys Finch Hatton.
McClain uses first person, presenting the narrative through the consciousness of Beryl. This lets the reader inside Beryl’s mind. Since place is important to Beryl, and contributes to who she is, McClain brings Kenya to the page with authentic description. Beryl’s childhood in the bush with native children gave her a fearless need to continue to explore untamed territory. This becomes her motivation for life.
Beryl wonders who she is. Her unconventional upbringing empowers her to push the boundaries of female experience, while at the same time she feels uneasy in the society of other women. On one level she is alone in the world. The push and pull of fearlessness and vulnerability are part of Beryl’s experience.
Circling the Sun explores two desires present in most humans: the desire to transcend everyday life, and the acute knowledge of being a vulnerable, fallible, mortal. Beryl was all of this. She ponders her experience of almost being killed by a lion whose owners thought the lion was tamed. Beryl understands that lions will always be lions. It is their nature to pry on other mammals. Beryl translates this knowledge to humans. Her mother will never realize she abandoned Beryl. Denys cannot be domesticated. People cannot be pushed beyond their limits, just as the lion can never be tamed.