Tara Chevrestt's Reviews > Promise the Night

Promise the Night by Michaela MacColl
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Aug 24, 11

bookshelves: 2011-release, women-in-aviation, women-that-really-existed-fiction, historical-fiction, vine, arc
Read from August 22 to 23, 2011

I thought this was a decent read though it is def aimed at an even younger crowd than I originally thought. It's not aimed at teenagers, but the 9 to 12 year olds. I don't normally read books aimed at kids that young, but I love women in aviation and wanted to learn more about Beryl Markham, the woman who crossed the Atlantic, East to West.

The novel chronicles Beryl's childhood in Africa, her forays into hunting with the native tribes, her rocky relationship with her father's mistress, her stubborness not to learn math, lion attacks and lion hunts, her year at boarding school, etc. The author did a superb job balancing Beryl's childhood with journal accounts/interviews with an adult Beryl preparing for and then attempting her Atlantic crossing.

My only quibbles: 1. Though most of the story is true and based on real accounts, sometimes it was a bit unbelieveable, such as when Beryl grabs her teacher and throws her down. 2. I would have liked this book to go further into Beryl's life. I respect that the author stuck to an eleven year old Beryl as that's the age group this was intended for, but I wanted more about her getting into aviation, learning to fly, and so on. Except for the journal excerpts, there was no aviation. The book ends before Beryl even lays eye on an airplane.
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Reading Progress

08/23/2011 page 143
56.0% "Spunky girl, very stubborn to the point of stupidity at times. The mixture of story and journal entries/interviews is well done."

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Michaela (new)

Michaela Maccoll Hi Tara --
You aren't the first to comment that we don't see Beryl learn to fly... Unfortunately, she didn't become interested in planes (nor were there planes to see in Colonial Africa) until after WWI. Instead I tried to focus on her character who would have to embrace the freedom of flight once it became available! Thanks for the review -- I look forward to your YA historical.
Michaela


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