Promise the Night, author Michaela Maccoll, tells the story of that crossing in telegrams and letters in the grown-up Markham's voice, interspersed with the story of Markham's early adolescence.
Beryl pretty much raised herself until she was 11. Put into the care of her father's head man, a Nandi tribesman, Beryl learned what Nandi boys learn. She was never one to respect limits placed on her just because she was a girl. Maccoll shows Beryl to be manipulative and stubborn, and at times incredibly brave. At one point, I tossed the book away in disgust at Beryl's trickery. I'm glad I picked the book back up. Beryl's deceit is explained in a rare display of her own understanding of what life had in store for her.
There are some very exciting events in here; an attack on her bulldog by a leopard, horse races, a lion hunt, an attack on Beryl by a neighbor's "pet" lion, beatings from a governess, a stint in an unbearably stuffy boarding school. And the author assures us that "most of the good parts" are based on fact.
This is the way I prefer to get my history, wrapped up in a very readable fictional account. The book is due out in December, just in time for holiday gift-giving. Hand this to a girl with stars in her eyes!