Wednesday, June 17, 2015


From Goodreads:
From New England Book Award winner Lily King comes a breathtaking novel about three young anthropologists of the '30s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives.

English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in the Territory of New Guinea. Haunted by the memory of his brothers’ deaths and increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with colleagues, the controversial Nell Stone and her wry and mercurial Australian husband Fen, pulls him back from the brink. Nell and Fen have just fled the bloodthirsty Mumbanyo and, in spite of Nell’s poor health, are hungry for a new discovery. When Bankson finds them a new tribe nearby, the artistic, female-dominated Tam, he ignites an intellectual and romantic firestorm between the three of them that burns out of anyone’s control

From Me:
3 stars, but I liked it a lot.
3.8 stars.  I might put it at 4 stars on Goodreads.

I chose this book right after I heard that it won the Audie Award for best Literary Fiction.  Xe Sands and Simon Vance narrated and--WOW!
What a great job they did.

The story did draw me in---it was haunting in a way--but maybe that was Xe Sands voice, as she can draw me in to any story.  
It reminded me of old Tarzan movies ( I  know--that's weird) and I can't explain why.  
The study of cultures and people that are so foreign to us? 
The isolation of the main characters and the loneliness and sense of desperation they must have felt at times?

When I was 13, I was planning on being an archaeologist and later, an anthropologist.  
Now, I look back at my 13 year old self and wonder what I was thinking?!  I was not made to live in a jungle, eat food I'm not accustom to, worry about critters and customs not familiar to me, but it does intrigue me and I admire those who can and did.

I guess this book was based loosely on a true account of the anthropologist Margaret Mead and her husband,  Reo Fortune, an Australian, and Gregory Bateson  (an Englishman, who would become her third husband) spent together on the Sepik River in New Guinea. 
It might be important to know this before you read it.
I found it an interesting tale.  Some say the ending was abrupt, but I found it to add to the attraction.


bermudaonion said...

Oh yes, you could never go wrong with an audio narrated by Xe Sands and Simon Vance!!

Susan Lindquist said...

Oh! I have been wanting to read this! Heard the discussion on VT Public Radio ... based on the life of Margaret Mead ... can't wait to lay hands on it!

JoAnn said...

The narration was definitely the high point for me, too!

Friday Friend Recipe #202 -- Greek Pasta Salad

My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #202 (#willreallyfinishthissomeday) ...