Friday, February 10, 2012

Promise the Night by Michaela MacColl

Promise the Night by Michaela MacColl is a fictionized account of Beryl Markham's childhood growing up in British East Africa. She was raised by a native tribe as much as by her father, learned to hunt and fight with the young boys who will grow up to be warriors, trained horses, avoided formal education, was attacked by a lion, and was the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean from England to North America.
Journal entries and news articles preface each chapter giving us a glimpse into the adult Beryl and her flight. The majority of the book however is about her childhood and what an amazing childhood it was.  Written beautifully, Michaela MacColl's words help us visualize what this part of Africa looked liked as British settlement began in the early 1900's. The boarding school scenes are quite funny. While her relationship with her father was strained at times it was obvious that they loved each other. Beryl Markham is an example of strong female who grew up with a dream and succeeded in making that dream a reality.  Recommended  highly for those who enjoy historical fiction, books about Africa or someone looking for a strong female character. 
Read as an ebook courtesy of Chronicle Books.

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