I‘ve just finished Paula McLain’s new novel based on the life of Beryl Markham, the renowned horsewoman, aviatrix and author. It’s a quick and easy read about a complex woman I’d venture to guess was more fascinating to be acquainted with from afar than up close and personal.
Not much of a “Girl’s Girl” our Beryl, she was no shrinking violet to say the least. Training champion racehorses, surviving a lion attack, and safely crash-landing the first east to west solo flight by a woman across the Atlantic, appear to be some of her tamer accomplishments.
A first marriage at 16, with two more to follow and a countless string of affairs, including one with heartthrob Denys Finch Hatton (cue hair washing scene in Out of Africa !) she wasn’t a friend you left sitting with your husband for too long.
That louche “Happy Valley” crowd…
The heat, the gin, the malaria…
I’ll definitely be revisiting “West With the Night” now that my interest in this formidable, if not necessarily likable woman has been rekindled.
And perhaps dig up “White Mischief” once again. An oldie but goodie.
Cheers to strong women and those who share their stories!