Title: Promise the Night
Author: Michaela MacColl
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Release Date: January
How I Read It: Hardcover copy from Publisher
Rating: 4 Crowns
For a young girl, Beryl has big dreams- bigger than the vast ranch in British East Africa where she is being raised by her demanding father. Abandoned by her mother, who fled the remote African life to return to “civilized” England, Beryl’s only friend is her mother’s dog, Buller-that is, until one night when Buller is attacked by a leopard and dragged into the jungle. While keeping her promise to rescue him, she makes a new friend, and begins her journey to becoming one of the most famous and admired women of her time.
Based in the true life of Beryl Markham-the first pilot to fly solo from England to North America-Michaela MacColl’s richly imagines story of a feisty girl who hunts with Nandi warriors, becomes the best horse breaker on her father’s ranch, and resists all attempts to make her a proper lady, is a compelling and action-packed read for anyone with a thirst for adventure.
(from the jacket flap)
Promise the Night introduces young readers to a young girl growing up in British East Africa in the early nineteen hundreds. This young girl in particular actually happens to be Beryl Clutterbuck Markham, one of the irst women to receive a commercial pilot’s license.
In Promise the Night, we meet an adolescent version of Beryl Clutterbuck Markham who is growing up a bit wild in British East Africa. Abandoned by her mother, raised by her father who was a horse trainer, farmer, and miller, Beryl often pushed the limits which led to her father’s decision to have her schooled by Arap Maina the leader of the Nandi tribe. Beryl didn’t mind as her best friend Kibii happened to be the son of Arap Maina.
Promise the Night chronicles Beryl’s time spent with the Nandi tribe, her desire to be a warrior, her father’s attempts to civilize her, and her friendship with Kiibii. In between each chapter, we are offered glimpses of her life as a pilot.
Although this is a fictionalized account, the events in the book have been pulled from Beryl’s memoirs as well as other biographical sources which means that every page is bursting with spirit and adventure. Marketed for ages 8-12, this would be the perfect book to interest young readers yet, I believe that the young at heart will enjoy what this book has to offer.
Overall, this is a story of one girls adventure, courage and determination to succeed where other said she would fail. An epic adventure that proves that truth is indeed stranger than fiction.
If you would like to know more about Michaela MacColl, Promise the Night, or Prisoners of the Palace you may do so HERE
Thanks to Lara Starr at Chronicle Books I have 1 copy of Promise the Night & 1 copy of Prisoners of the Palace to giveaway to 1 lucky reader.
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Winner will be announced on February 10.
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