Friday, October 11, 2013

A "Can't-Put-It-Down" Book

I just finished this book that I picked up by chance from the New Non-Fiction shelf at the library, and I had to get online and post about it right away!

The Girl With No Name:  The Incredible Story of a Child Raised By Monkeys
by Marina Chapman with Vanessa James and Lynn Barrett-Lee

I could not put this book down; I read it in 2 days. The subject of the book, Marina Chapman, was kidnapped from a village in Columbia or Venezuela (she does not know where exactly) when she was about 5 years old. Her kidnappers then dumped her in the middle of the jungle for unknown reasons. She survived for years on her own by watching a troop of monkeys and copying what they ate and how they lived.

Eventually she was discovered, with no spoken language or memory of the outside world, and brought back to human society. But this was not society as we know it today in the U.S. This was Columbia in the 1960s - a very impoverished and dangerous place.

The book is told from her perspective, and it is captivating. It was written with the immense help of Chapman's daughter, who pieced together her mother's memories and researched Columbia and the jungle to match her mother's descriptions with real places and things that Chapman had no name for (such as fruits and animals she had known in the jungle).

Marina Chapman today, with her daughter Vanessa James

This book was incredible. I cannot believe that one person could live through as many amazing and terrifying experiences as Chapman did. She is a unique human being, and I'm sure there is much more to the story that couldn't fit into one book. 

I cannot recommend this book enough! And if you need more convincing to go out and buy it, Chapman's share of the profit goes to charities that combat human trafficking and child slavery in Columbia. And yes, that gives you a little bit of a clue as to later events in the story....

Even though I got my copy at the library, I may have to purchase this one to read again in the future!

If you ever want to see what I'm currently reading, you can scroll down the sidebar on the right to Books On My Nightstand.

What can't-put-it-down book have you read recently? Leave a comment!

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