Take Me to Africa

I’ve been missing because I somehow got caught up in all things Africa. Specifically, Beryl Markham’s Africa. It all began when I read a blurb about Paula McClain’s newest book focusing on the British-born Kenyan-raised Aviatrix who lived a crazy life in the bush and grew up to do even more adventurous and romantic accomplishments.

beryl m

Years ago, I read The Paris Wife and fell in love with Paula McClain’s writing. Her historical fiction voice lures the reader in and that was all it took to hook me.

If you’re not familiar with Beryl Markham and are interested in who she was- I highly recommend her book West With the Night. It is full of wild adventure and excitement. I read it before I stuck my nose in Paula McClain’s Circling the Sun and I’m glad. It was so good I couldn’t put it down.

The movie Out of Africa was written by Karen Blixen whose pen name was Isak Dinesen. She was a Danish noblewoman who fell hard for the dashing big game hunter Denys Finch-Hatton. Karen’s husband was the Baron Bror von Blixen who constantly cheated on her and eventually left her on the coffee farm in Kenya. She made do with a love affair with Denys who was known himself for being a playboy. Beryl Markham was part of that rugged crowd and all of their stories are completely intertwined. In the movie (if you’ve watched), Beryl’s character is known as Felicity. It’s been said that when Karen/Isak wrote the book she didn’t include much about Beryl because of her jealousy of the love affair between her and Denys.

denys karen

It seems all the ladies loved Denys Finch-Hatton.


All I can say is that the sordid and strange old ways of these different aristocratic people will suck you in and spit you out long after the dinner dishes need washing. I am still stuck in Africa thanks to all of these characters.

Oh well, the reality is that I’m back. But I cannot stop thinking about all the adventure. Oh and Paula’s book? Is everything I’d hoped and more. I hope they make a movie.

Leave a Reply