Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

They want things only so wild. Real nature terrifies them. It’s too unpredictable. – p.125

Curious book reviewer says:

3.2/5 💫☀️

Beryl Markham was very much like the female version of Ernest Hemingway. Spare and sensual in writing and in life.

McLain did a wonderful job in writing this historical novel of Beryl the pilot and horse-rider! Unfortunately, though it was great writing, I couldn’t appreciate the character’s “growth” or feel any progression with her. She was strangely always stuck with the past yet trying to move rapidly in real time.

Beryl doesn’t seem to be able to blend her whims with responsibilities, even with age, and honestly it wouldn’t really bother me if the book hadn’t spun on for 200 pages. I felt like i was re-reading certain portions because most of the decisions she made were repetitive and predictable. I know I shouldn’t impose my own ideas of morality on the character, but when I read about her many fleetingly selfish decisions or failed relationships I felt deeply alienated from her because I knew it could’ve been prevented.  

What truly moved me was her utter devotion to horses and to the wild. I admire her strength and resilience in taming wild nature, and metaphorically, “riding the wind”, when she decides to take up flying in the end.

Amazing writing by the author but story / progression was bleh 😦 

p.s. It’s interesting to note that Ernest Hemingway actually made a pass at her while he was still with Pauline, but she rebuffed him. Haha! Good on you, Beryl.


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