HISTORICAL: Euphoria – Lily King

From My Bookshelf by Lynn Willoughby:

Euphoria ~ Lily King

This one deals with a love triangle for three anthropologists in the jungles of New Guinea. Having read about Margaret Mead for years, there is no doubt that Nell in this book is based heavily on this wonderful woman.

It is the 1930s and Andrew Bankson has been alone for several years. He has heard from his mother about the deaths of his two brothers in the war and is on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with the controversial Nell Stone and her charismatic Australian husband Fen, pulls him back from the brink. The three colleagues become friends and decide to collaborate and investigate a nearby tribe, the Tam, that Bankson has heard about.

The Tam are artistic, are female dominated and ignite passions – both intellectual and personal, among the three anthropologists. This makes for tense and interesting reading.

This is a brief period in the life of Margaret Mead along the Sepik river in New Guinea. I learned a lot about the area, the flora and fauna and about the primitive inhabitants. It made for a good read.

“In one frenzied night the trio put it all down on paper: an exhilarating scene of creative and intellectual gestation that captures all the excitement of discovery and the promise that we might find a way to better understand humankind. Here is the euphoria of the title…”

There are a lot of clues, a lot of foreshadowing after this night of three competitive egos in the remote jungles of New Guinea. Something is bound to go wrong! It is a satisfying conclusion of three charismatic alpha creatures. King’s pain staking research makes us believe “…the savageness beneath the veneer of society. It is now very far beneath the surface, no matter where you go…”

  • Father of the Rain
  • The Pleasing Hours

…………and several others

Who Knew?

Margaret Mead, arguably the most renowned anthropologist of all time, was an amazing women and a prolific writer. She is one of my heroes. One quote strikes me as her essence. “Life in the twentieth century is like a parachute jump – you have to get it right the first time.”

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