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Circling the Sun: A Novel av Paula McLain
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Circling the Sun: A Novel (utgåvan 2016)

av Paula McLain (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,6511778,140 (3.87)139
"Paula McLain, author of the phenomenal bestseller The Paris Wife, now returns with her keenly anticipated new novel, transporting readers to colonial Kenya in the 1920s. Circling the Sun brings to life a fearless and captivating woman--Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, author of the classic memoir Out of Africa. Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature's delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up, and when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships. Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set, a decadent, bohemian community of European expats who also live and love by their own set of rules. But it's the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart. The intensity of their love reveals Beryl's truest self and her fate: to fly. Set against the majestic landscape of early-twentieth-century Africa, McLain's powerful tale reveals the extraordinary adventures of a woman before her time, the exhilaration of freedom and its cost, and the tenacity of the human spirit. Praise for Paula McLain and The Paris Wife"McLain has brought Hadley [Hemingway] to life in a novel that begins in a rush of early love. A moving portrait of a woman slighted by history, a woman whose. story needed to be told."--The Boston Globe"The Paris Wife creates the kind of out-of-body reading experience that dedicated book lovers yearn for, nearly as good as reading Hemingway for the first time--and it doesn't get much better than that."--Minneapolis Star Tribune"Exquisitely evocative. This absorbing, illuminating book gives us an intimate view of a sympathetic and perceptive woman, the striving writer she married, the glittering and wounding Paris circle they were part of. McLain reinvents the story of Hadley and Ernest's romance with the lucid grace of a practiced poet."--The Seattle Times"A novel that's impossible to resist. It's all here, and it all feels real."--People"Powerful and devastating. McLain pulls off a delicate balancing act, making the macho Hemingway of myth a complex and sympathetic figure."--USA Today"A sweet love story with surprising emotional impact."--Chicago Sun-Times"--… (mer)
Medlem:crossetc
Titel:Circling the Sun: A Novel
Författare:Paula McLain (Författare)
Info:Ballantine Books (2016), Edition: Reprint, 400 pages
Samlingar:School Collection
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

Verkdetaljer

Circling the Sun av Paula McLain

  1. 10
    Den afrikanska farmen av Isak Dinesen (Tanya-dogearedcopy)
  2. 10
    Västerut i natten : mitt liv i Afrika : roman av Beryl Markham (Tanya-dogearedcopy)
  3. 00
    Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O'Keeffe av Dawn Tripp (Limelite)
    Limelite: Georgia O'Keefe and Beryl Markham were two fiercely independent women determined to carve their own lives outside of acceptable societal norms. Two passionate women, capable of great love, sacrifice, and thirst for a full life. I think they would have admired and liked each other.… (mer)
  4. 00
    A Spear of Summer Grass av Deanna Raybourn (carriehh)
    carriehh: Africa, 1920s
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By Alexandra Fuller
NYTBR
July 31, 2015

If you were half awake in 2011 (or 2012 or 2013), you couldn’t have avoided Paula McLain’s runaway best seller, “The Paris Wife.” That fictional autobiography of Ernest Hemingway’s beleaguered starter wife, Hadley Richardson, unfolds pretty much as the Hemingways’ marriage does, in Paris in the 1920s. Caught up in the mass hysteria, I too bought a copy. But when I came to this line, after just half a dozen pages, I couldn’t go on: “I don’t want to think and I don’t want to feel, either, unless it’s as simple as this beautiful boy’s knee inches from mine.”

I didn’t know whose knee this insipid fictional Hadley was talking about, but I wasn’t hanging around to find out. Still, I hoped for a different experience when presented with a copy of McLain’s latest offering, “Circling the Sun.” Even if the formula seemed suspiciously similar — people behaving badly in settler-era Kenya rather than people behaving badly in Jazz Age Paris — McLain was now writing a fictional autobiography of Beryl Markham, a person who in real life might accurately be described as the woman Ernest Hemingway wished he could be, were he man enough.

The actual Markham would have had Hemingway’s knee for breakfast, thrown away the bone, gone on to shoot a lion, ride a racehorse and bed a lover all before lunch. Surely no one could make this woman insipid. But McLain goes one better than that, turning her into a character you might find in “The Daring Book for Girls” if it were rehashed as a bodice ripper. Which is to say, McLain undoubtedly has another best seller on her hands.

“It was a warm afternoon, I was on a strong and beautiful horse, and I had a plan, ” McLain’s Markham declares as she rides off to see the love of her life, Denys Finch Hatton. Readers might be confused. Last time most of us saw Finch Hatton he was being played by Robert Redford in Sydney Pollack’s 1985 film adaptation of “Out of Africa.” And back then he was busy being the love of Karen Blixen’s life. But the man apparently got around.

Finch Hatton was a narcissistic woman slayer in Pollack’s movie, and he’s a narcissistic woman slayer in McLain’s book too. Only McLain’s Markham isn’t so much slain as she is roofied. She’s a swooning heroine with — I regret to report — an eye for strong men, including a Kipsigis warrior whom she cringingly renders more exotic Chippendale than anything soldierly. “I felt myself drawn to him, the polished look of his skin, and the strong length of his thigh beneath his shuka,” she says of Kibii, her onetime childhood playmate, now grown all tall, muscular and gleaming.

The real Markham was a pioneering aviator who became the first woman to fly solo, east to west, across the Atlantic. And her 1942 memoir, “West With the Night,” made Hemingway spit with jealousy. “But this girl, who is to my knowledge very unpleasant and we might even say a high-grade bitch,” he wrote to his publisher, “can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers.” McLain’s fictional Markham is neither unpleasant nor, more’s the pity, much of a bitch. In fact, she can barely bring herself into focus unless she’s under the gaze of a man like Finch Hatton.

“ ‘What are you thinking?’ he asked me.

“ ‘Just of how much you’ve changed me.’ I felt his lips on my neck, his breath. ‘This is why there is poetry,’ I said, so softly I wasn’t sure he could hear me. ‘For days like these.’ ”

It’s hard to believe this sentimental woman is the same person who survived being mauled by a neighbor’s pet lion as a child, an incident McLain’s heroine recounts in detail: “Paddy’s jaw closed on my thigh above the knee. I felt his dagger teeth and his wet tongue. The strangely cool feel of his mouth. My head swam as I smelled my own blood, and then he released me to bellow.” Stirring enough stuff, I suppose, if it weren’t almost indistinguishable from the scene, chapters later, in which Markham and Finch Hatton get it on: “The night beyond the window had hushed itself as well, and there was only the fact of our two bodies rippled with shadow. We pressed to get closer, to push through something. . . .” Read both passages slowly, and you’ll see what I mean.

Like the real woman, McLain’s Markham is born in England but raised on a farm in Kenya, where, after being abandoned by her mother and taught something about horse racing by a distracted father, she falls under the care of the native families who live around the farm. In time, their elders allow her to train with “the other totos who were becoming warriors, young morani.” She learns “to throw a spear and hunt warthogs, . . . to fashion a bow and take down wood pigeons.”

Thereafter, McLain’s Markham puts a dead black mamba in her governess’s bed, runs away from boarding school and rides one horse more “My Friend Flicka” than the next: “I wanted to fling myself at Coquette’s knees, to grab a handful of her pale mane and swing up over her back and ride away into the hills on my own.” After her father loses his farm, the teenage Markham marries a neighbor who turns out to be a possessive, impotent drunk. She leaves him to train horses for Lord Delamere in the Kenyan highlands.

By the time she’s 18, Markham has become the first woman to be licensed as a horse trainer in Kenya. Then for a few hundred unabsorbing pages she has affairs, gets divorced, gets remarried, remains one of Kenya’s top horse trainers, has an abortion and has a baby with birth defects whom she leaves with her second ­mother-in-law in England. Rumors fly about another possible affair, with Prince Harry, the third son of King George V, before she finally takes up flying airplanes back in Kenya. Meantime, through it all, she pines for Finch Hatton until he puts the settler women of East Africa out of their misery by crashing his plane.

McLain’s rendition of Markham as a flapper with a penchant for adventure is exasperating, but nothing beats her heroine’s attitude toward Kenya, sometimes mistaken for the whole continent of Africa: “ ‘It doesn’t matter,’ I said, feeling numb. ‘No one can parcel up Africa or even defend it. It doesn’t belong to anyone.’ ” Horribly, I can imagine the real Markham saying something like this, in spite of her warrior training. But it can’t be ignored that the settlers who used Kenya as their hapless playground did so at catastrophic expense to those who called Kenya home long before the whites arrived.
  meadcl | Sep 7, 2021 |
"Who can understand women and the sky?" ( )
  MuggleBorn930 | Jul 11, 2021 |
Let me first begin by saying that Paula McClain is a very talented author. Her diligence in research and her ability to set the reader in a different time and place is showcased in Circling The Sun. Kenya of the early 20th century came alive to me. And I felt that I knew and understood the characters well. I just didn’t like them very much. 😉 That’s not the fault of McClain — this is a biographical novel, after all, and the warts are very much in evidence. Beryl Markham was an amazingly independent and progressive woman for her time, yet she continually makes the same mistakes in her relationships with men. Some of that can be chalked up to her hands-off upbringing and her parents’ negligence, but sometimes we just need to learn from our mistakes. Colonial Kenya seemed to be a place for those who bucked the norms of the day or the misfits who just didn’t fit in their home societies. The portrayal is fascinating. So I guess I shouldn’t have really expected a lot of high ground from the people who populated Markham’s life. Much of the novel features her early life and loves; less focus is put on her flying acommplishments. While I thought the book was very well-written, I’d recommend reading Markham’s memoir West with The Night if you only have a limited time to devote to the subject. It may be a little more biased, but I liked Markham more in it. (Please note: this is a general market novel — adult language and situations.)

Audience: adults.

(I downloaded the audiobook from my local library through Libby. All opinions expressed are mine alone.) ( )
  vintagebeckie | Jul 7, 2021 |
I started this audiobook but couldn't get into it. Not for lack interest in Beryl Markham. ( )
  Okies | Mar 8, 2021 |
In a word: lush!

I liked this even more than the Paris Wife (and I definitely liked Paris Wife more than Hemingway's Moveable Feast).

Circling the Sun is based on the fascinating life story of Beryl Markham, the first person to fly the Atlantic east to west in a solo, non-stop flight. Beryl was four years old when she was abandoned by her mother. She grew up on her father's ranch in Kenya and was cared for by the native Kipsigis people. Author Paula McLain has Beryl say: "I've sometimes thought that being loved a little less than others can actually make a person, rather than ruin them.” Unschooled, independent, adventurous, and brash, she was a pioneering female racehorse trainer and bush pilot.

When reading historical fiction, I always wonder how much is true. Author Paula McLain answered this in a general way in an interview:
I don't make up events for my historical characters, or imagine fictional characters for them to interact with... What I do make up and then dramatize is the inner lives of my characters, their thoughts and feelings, and all the dialogue. I also feel very free to embellish setting and details of place, etc. Imaginative embellishment is what puts flesh on the dry bones of history, and I think Ms. McLain does it extraordinarily well.

I was inspired to put Beryl Markham's autobiography West With the Night on my to-read list, of which Hemingway wrote: she has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But [she] can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers ... it really is a bloody wonderful book. I wonder would he say the same about Circling the Sun?

I was so taken by the lush descriptions of Kenya that I thought please, please, please! have visited the country, but alas! google tells me Paula McLain visited Kenya only after the book was drafted. So I watched Out of Africa, a movie I had on the shelf because it was a favorite back in the day. The same characters populate both stories (Karen Blixen wrote Out of Africa using her pen name Isak Dinesen). Beryl is the character Felicity. I got the dose of realism I craved as the movie was mainly shot on location in the Ngong hills of Kenya.

I got the paperback at Goodwill, where the beautiful cover caught my eye. It's printed on acid-free paper and set in Granjon.

Around the year in 52 books challenge notes:
#7. A book set in the southern hemisphere (the equator runs through Kenya). ( )
  Linda_Louise | Jan 20, 2021 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (4 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Paula McLainprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Blanchette, Dana LeighFormgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Chapman, IsabelleTraductionmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Dinçer, YaseminÜbersetzermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Klynstra, LauraOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
McEwan, KatherineBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Simeonova, IlinaOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Suursalu, KarinÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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The Vega Gull is peacock blue with silver wings, more splendid than any bird I've known, and somehow mine to fly.
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Before Kenya was Kenya, when it was millions of years old and yet still somehow new, the name belonged only to our most magnificent mountain.
Her absence was still so loud and so heavy, I ached with it, feeling hollow and lost.  I didn't know how to forget my mother any more than my father knew how he might comfort me.  He pulled me—long limbed and a little dirty, as I always seemed to be—onto his lap, and we sat like that quietly for a while.
I grew as tall as Kibii and then taller, running just as swiftly through the tall gold grasses, our feet floured with dust.
This was certain: I belonged on the farm and in the bush.  I was part of the thorn trees and the high jutting escarpment, the bruised-looking hills thick with vegetation; the deep folds between the hills, and the high cornlike grasses.  I had come alive here, as if I'd been given a second birth, and a truer one.  This was my home, and though one it would all trickle through my fingers like so much red dust, for as long as childhood lasted it was a heaven fitted exactly to me.  A place I knew by heart.  The place in the world I'd been made for.
Chpt 62:  Karen buried Denys on the farm, as she knew he wanted it, at the crest of Lamwia, along the Ngong ridge. ... No one could challenge their bond, or doubt how she had loved him.  Or how truly he had been hers.  One day she was going to write about him -- write "him" in such a way that would seal the two of them together for ever.  And from those pages, I would be absent.
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"Paula McLain, author of the phenomenal bestseller The Paris Wife, now returns with her keenly anticipated new novel, transporting readers to colonial Kenya in the 1920s. Circling the Sun brings to life a fearless and captivating woman--Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, author of the classic memoir Out of Africa. Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature's delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up, and when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships. Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set, a decadent, bohemian community of European expats who also live and love by their own set of rules. But it's the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart. The intensity of their love reveals Beryl's truest self and her fate: to fly. Set against the majestic landscape of early-twentieth-century Africa, McLain's powerful tale reveals the extraordinary adventures of a woman before her time, the exhilaration of freedom and its cost, and the tenacity of the human spirit. Praise for Paula McLain and The Paris Wife"McLain has brought Hadley [Hemingway] to life in a novel that begins in a rush of early love. A moving portrait of a woman slighted by history, a woman whose. story needed to be told."--The Boston Globe"The Paris Wife creates the kind of out-of-body reading experience that dedicated book lovers yearn for, nearly as good as reading Hemingway for the first time--and it doesn't get much better than that."--Minneapolis Star Tribune"Exquisitely evocative. This absorbing, illuminating book gives us an intimate view of a sympathetic and perceptive woman, the striving writer she married, the glittering and wounding Paris circle they were part of. McLain reinvents the story of Hadley and Ernest's romance with the lucid grace of a practiced poet."--The Seattle Times"A novel that's impossible to resist. It's all here, and it all feels real."--People"Powerful and devastating. McLain pulls off a delicate balancing act, making the macho Hemingway of myth a complex and sympathetic figure."--USA Today"A sweet love story with surprising emotional impact."--Chicago Sun-Times"--

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