If you were a fan of the movie, you remember that their affair came to an end when Karen began putting pressure on Denys for more commitment in their relationship. What we don't know that he was ready to begin a relationship with Beryl Markham, and she is worthy of a book on her adventurous life. In Out of Africa, Markham's character is named Felicity.
The daughter of famous British horse trainer Charles Clutterbuck, Beryl moved with her parents to Kenya. Her mother did not like the African way of life, and soon returned to England taking Beryl's brother with her and leaving her in Kenya with her father.
Barely an adult, she became the first licensed female horse trainer in Kenya. Besides her fame in the horse world, she became a master aviator and was the first person to fly the Atlantic east to west in a solo non-stop flight.
But back to Finch-Hatton. When her friend Karen's relationship with him began to fail, Markham began her affair with him which lasted about a year until his fatal flight.
On a personal note, I don't see the appeal of old Denys. Besides leading aristocrats on safari, he is not noted as having achieved much of anything, except being the lover of interesting women, according to one report. He was no Robert Redford in my book.
Well I can't tell you much more about this work of wonderful historical fiction. McLain makes the dialogue sound like old Hollywood, wonderfully British except for Blixen. Markham, herself, wrote an account of those days in her memoir, West with the Night.
This book is a thrill from beginning to end. McLain is also the author of The Paris Wife, another historical fiction account of Ernest Hemingway's first marriage to Hadley Richardson.
I can't wait to check out more of McLain's works.
|Robert Redford and Meryl Streep as Finch-Hatton and Karen Blixen in the 1985 movie Out of Africa.|