Austin's Reviews > West with the Night
West with the Night
by Beryl Markham
by Beryl Markham
Nov 15, 11
West With the Night is a memoir of Beryl Markham’s exciting life, and is the only work she ever authored. Set in the early 1900’s, Markham was one of the first women to ever learn to fly a plane, and became the first to perform a solo flight across the Atlantic from England to North America. Raised in British East Africa, Markham tells many stories of her childhood and the experiences she had growing up in Africa. Here it becomes obvious how much she values her birthplace, and as a result I believe the setting of this book is what causes it to shine. The scenes that Markham recounts from her time in Africa are stunning, and the way she describes it truly conveys the fact that Africa played the same roll as an extremely close childhood friend to her. Markham attempts to convey the beauty of her home, drawing the reader in and attempting to let them feel “the soul of Africa, its integrity, the slow inexorable pulse of its life...” Through the accounts of encounters with countless exotic animals, vivid descriptions of African landscape, and interactions with the native people, I feel a newfound appreciation for a place that I have only visited through Markham’s words. I think West With the Night offers a lot for me to incorporate into my own writing, specifically in regards to creating such a vivid world for the reader to become immersed in. Markham recreates her home from the details of her memory, focusing on the actual experience of the moment. I feel my own writing lacks this factor of realism that captures a reader’s attention. By perfecting the art of recreating a scene from my memory, as Markham does with her memoir, I hope to be able to create amazing worlds from my imagination that are equally immersive.
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