It’s amazing how a rumor can ruin someone’s life.
Raised in the beautiful, rugged Kenyan countryside, Beryl Markham became as wild as the environment she was raised in. She took up her father’s horse training business. Then took to flying becoming the first woman to cross the Atlantic from England. Beryl was also caught up in a love triangle between Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen (the author of Out of Africa) but yet fought to be her own person apart from them. We follow Beryl through the ups and downs in her life with marriages, deaths and loss.
I loved this book. Beryl was a woman before her time, complex, daring and always trying to push the envelope. Her story sucked me in. The characters were all richly developed and just as flawed as Beryl, some more so.
Just as important to the story is the location. Kenya through Beryl’s eyes was amazing. The rich red dust, the large boab trees. Beryl Markham lived an enormous full life but happiness and freedom seemed like two things that she always struggled to be able to find. Paula McLain brought to life a woman whose story was lost in obscurity because of the scandal of some bad rumors. McLain wove together rich deep characters in an intricate story that sucks you in, making you google the main characters. Then fangirling ever so slightly about how real they are and spending a significant amount of time reading the back stories of these characters.