I first noticed this book because of an Ernest Hemmingway quote on the back: "I knew her fairly well in Africa and never would have suspected that she could and would put pen to paper except to write in her flyer's log book. As it is, she has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But she can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves writers."
The book has, to my surprise, actually more or less lived up to that high praise.
Markham was a pilot in 1930s Africa, and her book, more or less an autobiography, is full of stories both of the wonders of the wildlife-filled landscape and the spiritual wonder of flight. Piloting her plane at night, for example, she writes, "To fly in unbroken darkness without even the cold companionship of a pair of ear-phones or the knowledge that somewhere ahead are lights and life and a well-marked airport is something more than just lonely. The hills, the forests, the rocks, and the plains are one with the darkness, and the darkness is infinite. The earth is no more your planet than a distant star...the plane is your planet and you are its sole inhabitant."