Laurie's Reviews > The Headhunter's Daughter: A Mystery

The Headhunter's Daughter by Tamar Myers
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's review
Apr 17, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery, suspense, historical
Read in March, 2011 — I own a copy

A white baby is found, by a bizarre and harrowing twist of fate, and delivered into the midst of a feared African tribe. Adopted by the tribe’s headhunter, the blond-haired, blue-eyed girl grows almost to puberty among the tribe, loved by her adoptive parents, until she is rescued.

Cripple is a servant in the Missionary Rest House and is the only person able to communicate with the young white girl after she is recovered; taken from her adopted tribe.

Two years hence, Belgium rule in the Congo will end and the natives will become independent. The political climate is tense as many blacks have sworn reprisals against their white oppressors, following a century of debasement and mistreatment. A white girl child living bare-breasted with the black heathens causes additional dissention. The well-meaning woman, Amanda, who initially helped instigate the girl’s rescue finds out life in the Congo is not so black and white.

Step back in history. Be prepared to embrace a culture and attitude vastly different from your own. The Congo of the 1940’s and 1950’s holds a dark fascination that will alternately repel and excite. Under Belgium rule, the European attitudes and beliefs clashed frequently with indigenous practices. There are passages within this book that astounded me; descriptions of encounters with the ferocious Driver ants that chilled me; and humor that left me reeling, ruefully shaking my head. For me, the odd voice in this book took awhile to get into, but I gradually adapted to the cadence, and the distinctive flow of the sentences. Reading this book, I felt the almost sedate ebb and tide of life and death in the jungle. Culture shock was immediate, but as the mystery unraveled I found myself becoming entranced, almost against my will, in the unfolding drama of this ultimately uniquely mesmerizing narrative.

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

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