I picked up Lily King’s Euphoria by chance and immediately fell deep into the heart of Papua New Guinea. This is going to be a great, great hand-sell for the summer. Loosely based on the adventures of Margaret Mead, Euphoria is the brilliant story of Nell and Fen, husband and wife anthropologists who venture into the depths of Papua New Guinea to discover unknown tribes circa 1932. Somewhere along the way, they link up with fellow anthropologist Andrew Bankson–a lonely Brit who has been studying a particular river tribe for many years. There is a love triangle (of course! but so good!) and a lot of interaction with the cultures of the tribes (excellent!). I loved Nell, so deeply, for asking questions of the natives that I would’ve liked to have asked. I hated Fen, so deeply, for all of the things he neglected to say. And Andrew Bankson? A brilliant narrator I really found myself pulling for. Perfect for any reader, man or woman, who loved The Mosquito Coast, Poisonwood Bible, Bel Canto or State of Wonder (and especially perfect for people who didn’t love State of Wonder as much as they would have liked).
Euphoria by Lily King (Atlantic Monthly Press | 9780802122551 | June 3, 2014)