Adventure CategoryChallenge: Latest Classics Club Spin Selection (But I’m late – it was due by Dec 1st) Genre: Adventure, Airplanes/Flying Type/Source: Tradeback / Local Indie Bookstore Why I read this now: Was late for the Spin but wanted to read it anyway.
MOTIVATION for READING: I can’t recall why exactly I put this on my Classics Club 50 but I was further enticed by the historical lit recently published by Paula McClain about Ms. Markham. I wanted to read the “true” version first.
WHAT’s it ABOUT: These are the stories of Ms. Markham; how she grew up in British East Africa now called Kenya, learned to train race horses, learned to fly airplanes, attempted to be the first to fly East to West from England to the US (managed to ‘safely’ crash in Canda), and and and… Nothing about her husbands and supposed multiple love affairs, darn it.
WHAT’s GOOD: What a way with words! I found it very easy to fall right into like relaxing into a gigantic bean bag to let the world fall away and allow me to be transported to another place and time.
What’s NOT so good: The prose is beautiful yet she can seem detached and aloof; she barely reflects that she is a woman doing more typical man things. This was both refreshing and almost frustrating. Other things were more frustrating and interesting (racist/classist) view of how the English colonists viewed the Africans. She also seems to scorn the practice of elephant hunting but was a full participant in the profit of it.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Not at all the dry and boring text I had imagined. It was lovely and tragic, poetic and appalling all at once. Certainly a remarkable woman.
RATING: Five slices of pie, of which I noted no mention.
Has anyone read a biography of Beryl Markham? If I enjoy the McClain (and I sincerely hope I do since I did not care for The Paris Wife), I might continue indulging my fascination.