“Jungle Child” – by the bestselling novel by Sabine Kuegler – In Cinema’s from 17 February. http://www.facebook.com/dschungelkind
“TROUBLED is the soul that doesn’t belong and a heart torn between two worlds. A white girl, who grew up among a warring tribe forgotten by time in the jungle of West Papua, leaves her paradise to return to Europe and finds herself in turmoil as she learns to accept her new life.
Sabine Kuegler’s Jungle Child is angst ridden and pathos evoking, it touches the hearts of readers as she relives her torment of coming to terms with a new culture and letting go of a childhood which she fears she could be idealising.
Her journey begins as a white child of five with missionary and linguist German parents and two siblings as they take a trip back in time. Moving in among the warmongering Fayu tribe, they learn their language and culture, eat their food and taste their joy and sorrow of a primal life of simplicity, relishing each delightful moment and swallowing the bitter bile of dark encounters with the brutality of man and nature.
Unfettered by the biasness of maturity, Kuegler plunges headlong into her new life, accepting the Fayu for who they are, understanding their ways and ending up thinking like them. She lives the adventure of a timeless jungle where she runs, plays and swims with the Fayu, hunts with bows and arrows and shares their meal of roast bat, crocodile, birds and worms.
As nature and nurture shape her character, the Jungle Child learns the norms of society from her parents and the Fayu. The carefree days of childhood are numbered and she soon outgrows her youthful innocence and several painful events lead to her spiritual awakening.
Living with a people ravaged and decimated by tribal warfare, revenge killings and diseases, she gets swallowed by the cesspool of violence and death. The death of her adopted Fayu brother proves to be the proverbial last straw and she heads back to Western civilisation at the age of 17 and enrols a boarding school in Switzerland.
Here, she learns that what that is practical in the jungle may not necessary apply and what that may appear paltry to one society is princely to another. Kuegler struggles with her emotions and her values seem so out of place in the urban jungle.
“One fights with family over money, loyalty, and love’s disappointments and with neighbours over irrelevancies. And there is never enough time. Above all else, never enough time.” – This one paragraph tugs at my heartstrings.
This is a wonderful read, Kuegler bares her soul for all to see and her narration of her childhood in the wild helps us to understand the ways of the Fayu, her going back to Europe tells us of her internal conflicts and her quest for closure.” – Review by Eddie Hoo