Circling the Sun by Paula McLain Summary Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Circling the Sun

Plot Summary Part 4

Their marriage seems to be heading straight to divorceville.

When the baby is born Mansfield essentially takes the asshole-less baby away from Beryl and has his Mom raise it in England. Beryl goes back to Africa, more interested in riding horses than watching her baby without an anus struggle to survive.

When Beryl gets back to Africa, she finds that Denys has broken up with his girlfriend Karen. Karen realizes that Beryl wants Denys and wishes her good luck but realizes that Denys will never marry anyone. He's too busy running off to safari or other parts of the world, he's never around long enough for more than a quick blowjob.

Sure enough, Denys dies in a plane crash and that is that. Inspired by the awful, fiery death of her loved one, Beryl developed a passion for flying and learned how to fly planes. I hope this makes sense to you, because it makes none to me.

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The story ends with Beryl crash landing a plane in the waters around New York and being very happy about it.

The end.

Literary Criticism:

What was this book about? That's the question I ask myself after having read it. You have a girl, named Beryl, who trains horses in Africa, gets boned by a few guys, never quite hooks up with the one she loves, and then she learns how to fly an airplane. What was the point of this book? It's hard to know. There's no real story.

In the romance department, the story was seriously lacking. She would meet a guy on one page, and marry him on the next, with predictable results. Since Beryl had no emotional attachment to the men she married, neither did the reader. The one guy she was really into, Denys, she never had any real quality time with, just a few one night stands. So as a romance this book was a complete failure.

As a cultural story, this book was also lacking. The book started showing Beryl interacting with the local black people, but as her attention turned to horse training the cultural part of the story was largely dropped.

As a horse racing story, the book was also disappointing. Reading descriptions of horses racing is simply not very interesting.

And then at the end, Beryl learns to fly. What does that have to do with anything from the first 90% of the book? The answer: absolutely nothing.

Beryl's relations with her Dad were almost non-existent. The book was lacking in character interaction as well as plot.

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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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