THE HEADHUNTER’S DAUGHTER
William Morrow an Imprint of Harper Collins
Rating: 4 Cups
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. Following a century of debasement and mistreatment, the political climate is tense as many blacks have sworn reprisals against their white oppressors. 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 a while 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