The book, Circling The Sun by Paula McLain, is a historical fiction about a British girl, Beryl Markham, who moves to Kenya in the 1920’s with her family, only to be abandoned by her mother. Raised by her dad and native Kipsigis tribe, Beryl grows into a strong, independent woman. She comes to be the first female horse trainer in Kenya. Beryl then becomes a record-setting aviator who was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic from East to West. In 1942, Beryl wrote her memoirs in her book West with the Night, which talked about her life and flight.
Mclain also wrote the book, The Paris Wife based on Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson. Paris is where Ernest wrote The Sun Also Rises. Ernest said in A Moveable Feast “I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her (Richardson).” Both McLain’s books are very well written and the characters and stories are so engaging that you won’t want to put the books down. Even though the books are fiction, they are historical in nature and follows closely the lives of the characters.
Circling the Sun has many great inspirations and thoughts about life. Below are a few of my favorites.
“We all have those moments… They’re meant to test us and change us, I think. To make plain what it means to risk everything. Half the time we don’t know what we are doing but we live anyway.” P. 177
“But is all has to get sorted out soon, doesn’t it? Even the worst things end…that’s how we go on.” P. 186
“Kenya was forever shedding its skin and showing itself to you all over again. You didn’t need to sail away for that. You only needed to turn around.” P. 188
“Life is full of messes. Your mistakes aren’t bigger than anyone else’s.” p. 207
“Maybe our mistakes make us who we are. The only thing I’m really afraid of is shrinking from life, not reaching for the thing.” P. 251
“Trust your compass…But this needle will tell you where you should be going. Not where you are. Put your faith there, and you’ll catch up eventually.” P. 333
“The trick is learning to take things as they come and fully too, with no resistance or fear, not trying to grip them too tightly or make them bend.” P. 336
“The pilgrims and the lost often did look the same…and it was possible everyone ended up in the same place no matter which path we took or how often we fell to our knees, undoubtedly wiser for all of it.” P. 338
“I’ve been terrified…I just haven’t let it stop me.” P. 250
“I had forged her myself, out of brokenness, learning to love wildness instead of fearing it.” P. 351
“I’ll bet that you have that fear too – That one of these days the muse might hang up a “Gone Fishing” sign and vanish? But I’d very much like to get to a place where I can fight back against the panic and uncertainty, and simply be at rest, waiting for the spark of inspiration.” P. 376
What is your inspiration?