Book Club Discussion: Circling the Sun

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for Circling the Sun by Paula McLain. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • Beryl is forced to be independent from a very young age. How do you think this shaped her personality (for better or for worse)?
  • How would you describe Beryl and Denys’s relationship? In what ways are they similar souls?
  • Why do you believe the author chose the title Circling the Sun? Does it bring to mind a particular moment from the novel or an aspect of Beryl’s character?
  • While it is clear he loved his daughter, do you feel Beryl’s father was a good parent? Do you think Beryl would have said he was? Did you sympathize with him at any point?
  • How would you describe Beryl and Denys’s relationship? In what ways are they similar souls? How does their first encounter–outside, under the stars at her coming out party–encapsulate the nature of their connection?

Questions from author’s website.

Not a Hello Book Lover subscriber? Subscribe today on our website!

Book Reveal: Circling the Sun

The first book option for our November “Cozy Comforts” box is Circling the Sun by Paula McLain.

Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature’s delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up, and when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships.

Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set, a decadent, bohemian community of European expats who also live and love by their own set of rules. But it’s the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart. The intensity of their love reveals Beryl’s truest self and her fate: to fly.

Set against the majestic landscape of early-twentieth-century Africa, McLain’s powerful tale reveals the extraordinary adventures of a woman before her time, the exhilaration of freedom and its cost, and the tenacity of the human spirit.