Beryl Markham: Never Turn Back.
Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up
Beryl craved speed, independence, power; simple feet-on-the-ground contentment.Like many strong achieving women, Beryl Markham was raised and mentored primarily by her horse trainer father. Her East Africa home molded and inspired her to run free and unfettered and to become the first woman racehorse trainer in Africa. After conquering the ground, she took on the air.
Four years after Amelia Earhart's transatlantic flight from west to east, Beryl Markham became the first PERSON to complete the much more difficult crossing of the Atlantic from east to west. Flying solo, sometimes upside down in dense fog, she crash-landed her out-of-fuel single-engine plane in Nova Scotia after 21 amazing hours in the air.
Markham's remarkable story is written by Catherine Gourley, a journalist for various Canadian and American newspapers and magazines. Gourley's style is fairly simple but well-crafted and compelling. However, her intrusive guessing of fact or detail is an unnecessary irritant. The distant and very much external third person narration leaves the person Beryl somewhat remote and unreachable; perhaps that is the way she was.
This is an interesting read - for teenagers and adults - about a woman who accepted no limitations and did what she wanted to do! Markham's own story of her life as a professional pilot in a disappearing Africa, West with the Night, is also a vibrant and colorful adventure.
Grace Shaw is an instructor at Vancouver Community College.
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Copyright © 1997 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - JUNE 6, 1997.
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