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For a few years now I have been determined to join the reading club at our local library.  And for those same few years, there always seemed to be a reason that it never worked out for me to go.

Last month I finally achieved my goal and attended my very first book club meeting!

This month at the club we will be discussing “Circling the Sun”, written by Paula McLain and published by Ballantine Books in 2015.

The book is a fiction book but it’s written about a true character, Beryl Markham which can be a difficult undertaking for any author.

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Circling the Sun

The book follows the story of Beryl’s life beginning with her family’s move from England to Kenya in 1904.  A move that her mother could never adapt to which led to her taking Beryl’s brother, Dickie and returning to England after only two years in Kenya, leaving behind four-year-old Beryl.

This shaped much of the rest of her life as she was left to grow up with her father in the wilds of Africa helping him to raise and train racehorses.  Her father was assisted in raising Beryl by the Kipsigis tribe who lived on her father’s land.  This unconventional combination contributed to her growing up to be a fiercely independent and somewhat defiant young woman.

Throughout Beryl’s life, she followed the beat of a different drummer and many of her actions weren’t what was considered to be acceptable for women of that time period.  Because of this and some of the decisions she made her life was filled with scandal and gossip more often than not.  But it was also filled with undeniable achievements including not only her talent at training racehorses but her talent as a pilot as well.

Beryl was in love with Denys Finch Hatton for much of her life, but this was a love that was complicated by his attraction to both Beryl and a mutual friend, Karen.  It was made even more complicated by his desire to live a life that belonged to no one but himself.

Looking for a good read? Circling the Sun by Paula McLain is the story of a very unconventional young woman growing up in Kenya & destined to live a life of both scandal and achievements. Click To Tweet

I enjoyed the book very much, it kept my attention from beginning to end.  However, I never became attached to the main character, Beryl.  Some of her decisions did seem to me to be made without any consideration of the others whose lives would be affected by them.

Circling the Sun

I often wondered while reading the book how accurate the depiction of Beryl was, but after reading the author’s note I feel that she become so involved with studying the character that I consider her depiction to be accurate.

The book was very well written and I recommend it.

Have you read Circling the Sun?  If so, what are your thoughts?


This book can be purchased on Amazon:

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Leanne | March 1, 2018, 12:32 am

Books get written about people like this because they are such interesting characters and refused to live their lives on anyone else’s terms but their own. They often reap the consequences, but the fullness of their lives makes for great reading by those of us who lead more mundane existences!

Teresa March 1, 2018, 8:26 am

Yes, I agree. She did refuse to live by anyone else’s terms which brought her both joy and grief. But at the end of the day, she knew she did it her way. Thank you for stopping by Leanne!

Victoria March 1, 2018, 11:05 am

I have not read this book but it sounds interesting. I belong to a book club but for whatever reason, I am usually not fond of the book that is picked. lol I love to read but I read mysteries more often than not.

Teresa March 1, 2018, 2:43 pm

It is an interesting book. If you have time, read it and let me know your thoughts. Thank you for stopping by!

Linda Barnby | Hello Sweet Life March 1, 2018, 10:02 pm

Fascinating story! This book sounds like it would make a great movie. I am reminded of the movie Australia with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. I’m sure I would enjoy reading this.

Teresa March 2, 2018, 10:02 pm

Another interesting tidbit – the character in the book called Karen, was actually the author of Out of Africa. It was the story of her relationship with Denys. I loved that movie with Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. Beryl herself also wrote a biography. Thank you for stopping by!

Michele March 1, 2018, 11:15 pm

I liked this book, but I agree that I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for Beryl. I guess she is very different from me,so it was hard for me to relate to her. It did make me want to learn more about this time period and the British colonization of Africa. I want to reread Out of Africa and read Beryl’s real biography.

Teresa March 2, 2018, 9:58 pm

It wasn’t until the end of the book that I realized that the character called Karen wrote Out of Africa. Interesting! I haven’t read the book, but loved the movie. I agree, I would like to read Beryl’s real biography now as well. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Pam March 2, 2018, 9:05 am

I feel many young adults these days make decisions without the giving the least bit of consideration to the domino effect. I see it in a couple of my own children and it’s not pretty. So glad you were able to finally join the book club. Does the library provide enough copies for everyone or do y’all buy your own copies? Have a wonderful weekend!

Teresa March 2, 2018, 9:55 pm

The library provides the copies. It’s just a once a month meeting. We go and discuss the current book, then turn it in and get next months book. Works out great!

Marisa Franca @ All Our Way March 2, 2018, 12:12 pm

Hi!! Coming over from Grammy Dee — I always love to find new books to read. This is going on my list. Thank you!!

Teresa March 2, 2018, 9:53 pm

Oh good! I hope you enjoy it, be sure and let me know.

Grammy Dee | Grammy's Grid March 2, 2018, 10:49 pm

Sounds like a good read! Thank you Teresa for linking up and co-hosting at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty 25 with me! I shared your post on Fb, G+, Pn, and Tw ♥

Teresa March 3, 2018, 9:37 pm

Thank you Dee! It is a good read, I enjoyed it.

Nina Lewis March 6, 2018, 1:41 pm

This sounds like a really interesting book! I’ve put it on my list of books to read!

Teresa March 6, 2018, 2:32 pm

It is interesting. Beryl’s acquaintance in the book, Karen, was actually the author of Out of Africa. Their lives were intertwined around Denys!


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