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Publisher's Summary

As a young girl, Beryl Markham was brought to Kenya from Britain by parents dreaming of a new life. For her mother the dream quickly turned sour, and she returned home; Beryl was brought up by her father, who switched between indulgence and heavy-handed authority, allowing her first to run wild on their farm, then incarcerating her in the classroom.
The scourge of governesses and a serial absconder from boarding school, by the age of 16 Beryl had been catapulted into a disastrous marriage - but it was in facing up to this reality that she took charge of her own destiny.
Scandalizing high society with her errant behaviour, she left her husband and became the first woman ever to hold a professional racehorse trainer's licence. After falling in with the notoriously hedonistic and gin-soaked Happy Valley set, Beryl soon became embroiled in a complex love triangle with the writer Karen Blixen and big-game hunter Denys Finch Hatton (immortalized in Blixen's memoir Out of Africa).
It was this unhappy affair which set tragedy in motion while awakening Beryl to her truest self and to her fate: to fly.
©2015 Paula McLain (P)2015 Isis Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

"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." (Jodi Picoult)
"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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By PACMAC on 09-25-15

Circling the Sun Beryl Markham

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It is an excellent book based on the remarkable life of Berylk Markham. It has everyithing abandonment by a mother adoring a father not just coping but managing her life. Romance tragedy survival against all odds. A life as interesting if not more so than that of Karen Bliksen and Her Out of Africa book.

What other book might you compare Circling the Sun to and why?

Out of Africa by Karen Bliksen

Which character – as performed by Suzannah Hampton – was your favorite?


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

BERYL MARKHAM - Circling the Sun it needs nothing different

Any additional comments?

The author's note explains her obvious feeling for her character.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Penny on 10-23-15

Fascinating story, narration almost unbearable!

I almost gave up listening several times, despite being gripped by the real life story of Beryl Markham, who lived an extraordinary life in Africa, contemperary of the more famous Karen Blixen (Out of Africa). Unfortunately I found the narrator extremely off-putting, over-enunciating and way too 'put on posh' for my taste, and what I believe would suit the story. Yes, Beryl was undoubtedly English upper class but she could never be this prissy!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 12-06-17


There are not many books that are able to accurately describe Kenya but this hits the nail on the head. Having been born in Nairobi and lived within a mile of Karen Blixen’s house, the author manages to draw the very best of what it was like to grow up in this beautiful place. It made me feel homesick and long to be back there.
The only thing I found offputting about this audio book was the narrator’s overly exaggerated cut glass voice.
I would highly recommend this book and felt sad when it came to an end.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Odile on 01-06-17

Familiar story, beautifully narrated but..

It was so disturbing listening to the completely incorrect pronunciation of all the place names, that I could not believe a bit of research had not been done before hand by the narrator. Otherwise a plausible effort by the author to capture the early life of a truly remarkable woman.

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