My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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.
Paula McLain has painted a vivid picture of this strong wild girl who grows up to be just a strong wild woman who defied the social norms for women at the time. She knew the writer Karen Blixen; both women loved Danys Finch Hatton. She was a great racehorse trainer and she loved to fly.
I enjoyed reading this book immensely. I love the movie Out of Africa and it was a great pleasure to read about Beryl Markham and get another insight into the lives of Karen Blixen and Denys Finch Hatton and, of course, get an insight on Beryl herself. In many ways she just had a very tough life, abandon by her mother and later on her father and her two marriages that were portraited in the book were both disastrous. And, the love of her life was she sharing with another woman and their time together was cut short.
I had a hard time reading the ending because I knew how it would end for her and Denys. That's the negative thing about reading a book about real people. You know how it all will end. Also, it was a bit hard to read about her and Denys because in my mind he and Karen have always been a couple since the first time I saw Out of Africa. I loved Beryl and Denys together, but at the same time, I felt that they were betraying Karen. It's tough sometimes to read books.
I received this copy from the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review! Thank you!