This book was recommended to me based on my earlier purchases and I’m wondering if maybe Barnes & Noble doesn’t know me very well. But I downloaded it and gave it a chance. All of the reviews said it was riveting and readers were spellbound to the end. I admit I was not one of those readers until the last 100 pages or so. That being said, this book wasn’t one of my familiar comfortable books about fantasy and sexy vampires, so for other less needy readers this would be an amazing book. Lily, a product of foster homes and homelessness, accepts a position to move to Bolivia to teach English. However, once she gets there she realizes it’s a scam and basically lives homeless again but in a new country. She’s a 19 year old fighter though and decides she can handle whatever comes at her. She meets a tribal Bolivian named Omar and falls in love. He is such a beautiful character. Raised in a small tribe, he’s a hunter and knows everything about the jungle and the Amazonian River. He is trying his luck in the big city. They are a beautifully sweet couple. But poachers and a rogue jaguar force him to go back to defend his tribe from annihilation. Lily decides she can’t live without him so she follows him to the jungle determines she can live there if he can. But of course he was raised there and she’s a very red-haired, white skinned “gringo” and learns that the jungle is not a place for the weak.
During her stay there, I met some amazing characters, both good and evil. Shaman’s, poachers, a rival Tatinga tribe (her tribe is Ayarecho) and two Christian missionaries, all make for very colorful people. She finds out she has a touch of the Shamanic powers and gets close to the village Shaman. She is almost killed by an eel, finds out she’s pregnant, develops a life-threatening rash, learns she can be useful by sewing for the tribe, learns to hunt even though she refuses to eat meat (until she gets pregnant, then meat is wonderful), makes friends with the Tatinga’s, and finally learns she can survive anywhere.
It’s a winding, twisting tale with beautiful imagery. It’s not as fast paced as I like, but by the end you are definitely spellbound. I wished it could have ended differently, but it was a very beautiful story of finding a family and learning to survive. It also has a good message and explains the plight of the Amazon Rainforests and how they need help more than ever. It will make you want to do something to help and leave you realizing the world is such a different place than our “civilazado.”