Title: West with the Night
Author: Beryl Markham
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: 1942
Format Read: Audiobook
Standalone or series: Standalone
Where I got the book: Library Libby app
Date finished reading: June 21, 2020
Goodreads Description: West with the Night is the story of Beryl Markham–aviator, racehorse trainer, beauty–and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and ’30s.
My Review: I heard about this book via Jeff O’Neal on the Book Riot Podcast. Based on his description, I thought it would be an interesting travelogue. The goodreads description, as you can see above, can hardly be considered a comprehensive description. I really did not know what to expect with this book. I just really wanted to read something set in a different part of the world. Plus, Jeff O’Neal mentioned that this book was given high praise from none other than Ernest Hemingway.
I am ashamed to say that I had never heard of Beryl Markham. I have definitely been missing out. Her life was absolutely fascinating! She lived a free life, yet maybe at times a bit lonely. West With The Night has everything you could think of: descriptions of the Maasai culture, a lion attack, horse racing, malaria, World War 1, colonialism, fascism, and aviation by only maps, protractors and compasses (no navigational or radio systems).
Plus, Hemingway was absolutely correct. Beryl Markham was a beautiful writer. Her descriptions put you in another time and place beyond what may be imaginable. This book was a truly a remarkable and memorable reading experience. I highly recommend it!
My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½
“Every tomorrow ought not to resemble every yesterday. Still I look at my yesterdays from months passed and find them as good a lot of yesterdays as anybody might want. I sit there in the firelight and see them all.”