Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

September 15, 2017 Whitney Review 0 Comments

Circling the Sun by Paula McLainCircling the Sun by Paula McLain
Published by Ballantine Books on July 28th 2015
Pages: 366

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.

In Circling the Sun I was expecting more Meryl than Beryl. Perhaps this was due to the mention of Karen Blixen. Instead, I received a mix of Out of Africa and Seabiscuit.

I thought the focus on Beryl’s love of horses was interesting and was glad that it did not deviate too far into her love life. I also enjoyed Paula McLain’s writing. She was so descriptive and in touch with Beryl, that I could clearly feel her emotions upon losing her husband or the joy she felt while riding one of her beloved horses.

I did listen to part of this on audio and I was captivated by Katharine McEwan’s storytelling. I felt her interpretation enhanced the richness of the novel and could see myself listening to more books read by her.

Despite having The Paris Wife on my shelf for over two years, Circling the Sun was my first foray with Paula McLain and hope to renew the acquaintance soon.


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