Having really enjoyed Five Tuesdays in Winter, I was keen to read a novel. This was the only one available at my library.
Here’s the blurb
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 to divert them from leaving Papua New Guinea, the artistic, female-dominated Tam, he ignites an intellectual and romantic firestorm between the three of them that burns out of anyone’s control.
Set between two World Wars and inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is an enthralling story of passion, possession, exploration, and sacrifice.
Once again the writing was beautiful, but the subject didn’t appeal to me.
I know I read about this book somewhere, but I can’t remember where or when I first heard about it. This is my first Lily King book and I was surprised it was short stories (clearly I didn’t read the back before I bought it). I really enjoyed it, all of the stories, not just one or two. My favourite was ‘When in the Dordogne’ (here’s a review of it).
Here’s the blurb …
By the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Writers & Lovers, Lily King’s first-ever collection of exceptional and innovative short stories
Told in the intimate voices of unique and endearing characters of all ages, these tales explore desire and heartache, loss and discovery, moments of jolting violence and the inexorable tug toward love at all costs. A bookseller’s unspoken love for his employee rises to the surface, a neglected teenage boy finds much-needed nurturing from an unlikely pair of college students hired to housesit, a girl’s loss of innocence at the hands of her employer’s son becomes a catalyst for strength and confidence, and a proud nonagenarian rages helplessly in his granddaughter’s hospital room. Romantic, hopeful, brutally raw, and unsparingly honest, some even slipping into the surreal, these stories are, above all, about King’s enduring subject of love.
The writing is fabulous, the characters nuanced – it’s the ordinary made extraordinary. There is a somewhat common theme of alcoholism (more particularly alcoholic parents neglecting their children), but there is love and kindness as well.
This is one of my favourite books of the year. I have since got Euphoria out of the library.