NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Paula McLain is considered the new star of historical fiction, and for good reason. Fans of The Paris Wife will be captivated by Circling the Sun, which . . . is both beautifully written and utterly engrossing.”—Ann Patchett, Country Living
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, who as Isak Dinesen wrote 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 Circling the Sun
“Paula McLain cements herself as the writer of historical fictional memoir with Circling the Sun, giving vivid voice to Beryl Markham, a singular, extraordinary woman. In McLain’s confident hands, Markham crackles to life.”—Jodi Picoult, author of Leaving Time
“Enchanting . . . A worthy heir to Dinesen, McLain will keep you from eating, sleeping, or checking your e-mail—though you might put these pages down just long enough to order airplane tickets to Nairobi. . . . Like Africa as it’s so gorgeously depicted here, this novel will never let you go.”—The Boston Globe
“Richly textured . . . McLain has created a voice that is lush and intricate to evoke a character who is enviably brave and independent.”—NPR
“McLain succeeds in bringing the past to life, and by the last pages, readers will hate to say goodbye to such an irresistible narrator.”—Miami Herald
“Markham is a novelist’s dream. . . . McLain riffs on the facts, creating a wonderful portrait of a complex woman who lived—defiantly—on her own terms.”—People (book of the week)
“Paula McLain has such a gift for bringing characters to life. I loved discovering the singular Beryl Markham, a rebel in her own time, and a heroine for ours.”—Jojo Moyes, author of Me Before You
“McLain’s eloquent evocation of Beryl’s daring life reminds us that independent women have always been among us, moving at their own speed.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
From the Hardcover edition.