Monday, August 19, 2013

Into That Forest

Into That Forest by Louis Nowra, was actually published in Australia in September 2012.  I am SO glad it's being reprinted here in the US soon!

Two young girls, Hannah and Rebecca, survive a flood and end up washed upon the shore of the Tasmanian bush.  They are taken in by two tigers who raise them as their own, as they've lost cubs.  As the girls adapt, they lose their language- becoming more tiger than girl.  When they are rescued and returned to civilization, the adjustment is much harder than anyone could have imagined.

This story has such beautiful narration, a musical dialect with relearned English.  The narrator, our young (well, now old) Hannah, weaves such a beautiful, heartbreaking tale.  I picked this up thinking "Cool! A new kind of Jungle Book."  But no.  Yes, there are similarities,  There is little happy about this story.  

I was impressed by the attention paid toward the whole whaling career.  As a recovering Moby Dick reader, I still shied away from anything with whaling.  Into That Forest made it interesting.  It's incredible, seeing the transformation the girls take from young ladies, to feral half-humans, back to...I guess broken, unfamiliar humans.  Actually, if anyone saw the horror movie Mama...that's kind of what I pictured while reading.  

I'm grateful I read this one on my Kindle, as there's a lot of Tasmanian slang.  Also, be warned, there are no chapters and very few breaks.

And as interesting, and just altogether amazingly well-written as this was...I need to take a break from sad books.  I think the next few reviews will be for some fun YA and graphic novels.

I would absolutely recommend this to those who enjoy learning about other countries, and are interested in wilderness survival.

Into That Forest is published by Skyscape (Amazon Children's Publishing).  Digital ARC provided by Amazon.
Originally published by Allen and Unwin.
US release date: 09.03.2013

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