Jungle Child

by Sabine Kuegler

The book is way better than I thought it would be.

It begins with a idyllic childhood in the remote West Papua jungle, where her family went to live with the Fayu tribe, hitherto untouched by modern civilization. There Sabine ran wild in the jungle, swinging from vines like Tarzan, trading her family’s pots and pans for a baby crocodile, and throwing snakes at her sister. I won’t want Sabine as a sister… she is more a terror than my baby brother!

While the childhood is interesting, and the details of tribal life makes an intriguing anthropological read, and would make an entertaining book on its own, I enjoy even more how the book goes deeper into Sabine’s psychological confusion, as the girl grows up and realizes she is an in-between: totally unadapted to live in the complicated Western world, but also gone is the carefree girl who can run wild with her native friends. As her sister puts it: who will want to steal them as brides? They who don’t know how to prepare food or manage a household properly.

I really admire the author’s courage to live her life. I would love, howver, to hear more how the villagers are faring. While it is an inevitable fact of life, it is a pity to read about how as the author grows up, the siblings and her childhood friends go their own way. But at least she has a lovely, unforgettable childhood to treasure, and to give her strength.

The book’s website: http://www.junglechild.co.uk/ There is an extract of the book. I do wish though she would post some of the photos there.

Published in: on October 25, 2008 at 2:30 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Thank you for the review and link to the book – I shall check it out.

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