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The Headhunter's Daughter: A Mystery (edition 2011)

by Tamar Myers

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6817175,945 (3.04)13
Member:_debbie_
Title:The Headhunter's Daughter: A Mystery
Authors:Tamar Myers
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2011), Edition: 1, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Owned but not read
Rating:**
Tags:ARC, fiction

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The Headhunter's Daughter by Tamar Myers

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I got this book as part of the ER program and just forgot to review it.

I think I would have related more to the story if I had read the first book, since this turned out to be the second in the series. I found the plot hard to keep up with at times, but everything did move along quickly. Overall, I had a hard time sticking with this one and it was quickly forgotten. ( )
  _debbie_ | Dec 3, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book as part of the ER program. However, I never would have requested it if I had realized that it was actually the second book in a series, something that the ER description doesn't mention. To be fair, this book does work as a stand alone novel, but there are a few allusions to the previous book and the entire time I was reading I just had the feeling that I was missing something. This is a mystery set in the 1950s Belgian Congo, and it does provide an interesting look at the juxtaposition of the native and missionary cultures. Overall though, the story was not that compelling and I didn't feel the need to seek out other books in the series. ( )
  khuggard | Jun 22, 2012 |
In a kidnapping plot gone wrong, a white infant is abandoned in a deserted area of the Belgian Congo, where she is discovered by a young boy of the Bashilele tribe. Not knowing what else to do, the boy takes the baby home. The boys' parents adopt her and raise her as a member of their tribe. Thirteen years later, missionary Amanda Brown accompanies the local police chief to find the white girl rumored to live among the Bashilele, setting in motion a chain of events that will lead to tragedy.

Issues of race and culture are at the heart of this story. The white population of the Belgian Congo, whether Catholic or Protestant, Belgian or American, see only the girl's white skin. They don't think it's suitable for a white girl to live as an African – never mind that the European culture is completely foreign to her and she can't speak any of its languages. In addition to the racial and cultural tensions between the black and white communities, there are tensions between cultural groups within each community. The Americans don't completely trust the Belgians, and the Flemish Belgians and Walloon Belgians are wary of each other. Amanda's head housekeeper, Protruding Navel, and his assistant, Cripple, are of different tribes that despise each other, but are united in their dislike of the Bashilele. With independence looming in the not-too-distant future, there are hints that things are going to become a lot worse.

The humor in the novel frequently made me uncomfortable. It's the kind of humor that comes at others' expense, far different from the affectionate humor of Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels. Amanda is the kindest of the characters, yet even she is often motivated by self-interest rather than a desire to help others. It's an interesting place and time to read about, but it's not somewhere I want to linger. ( )
  cbl_tn | Apr 5, 2012 |
_The Headhunter's Daugher, by Tamar Myers is quite an interesting look at tribal customs and colonialism from an author who was raised in the country. Surprise twist when person who planned the kidnapping gone wrong is revealed. Part of a series' I will probably read more if I find them at the library.
  ritaer | Nov 18, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
At first I couldn’t decide if this was intended to be drama, satire, or comedy. Now I think it is a clever combination of all three. It’s the story of a white baby raised by black Africans in the Belgian Congo back in the 1950s. It’s told with humor and satire combined with a keen sense of the different cultures – the author is the daughter of missionaries and spent time in the Congo as a child. Well done and insightful. ( )
  samfsmith | Jun 8, 2011 |
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For Tessa Woodward
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The gravel pits had been haunted for the past six years, ever since the first white woman drowned.
Quotations
You see, one is not just the color of one's skin; one is also the color of one's heart.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061997641, Paperback)

From Tamar Myers, author of The Witch Doctor's Wife, comes a spellbinding tale of equatorial Africa and a child torn dangerously between two worlds.

In 1945, an infant left inadvertently to die in the jungles of the Belgian Congo is discovered by a young Bashilele tribesman on a mission to claim the head of an enemy. Recognized as human—despite her pale white skin and strange blue eyes—the baby is brought into the tribe and raised as its own. Thirteen years later, the girl—now called "Ugly Eyes"—will find herself at the center of a controversy that will rock two separate societies.

Young missionary Amanda Brown hears the incredible stories of a white girl living among the Bashilele headhunters. In the company of the local police chief, Captain Pierre Jardin, and with the witch doctor's wife, the quick-witted Cripple, along as translator, Amanda heads into the wild hoping to bring the lost girl back to "civilization." But Ugly Eyes no longer belongs in their world—and the secrets surrounding her birth and disappearance are placing them all in far graver peril than anyone ever imagined.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:50 -0400)

In 1945, an infant left inadvertently to die in the jungles of the Belgian Congo is discovered by a young Bashilele tribesman on a mission to claim the head of an enemy. Recognized as human--despite her pale white skin and strange blue eyes--the baby is brought into the tribe and raised as its own. Young missionary Amanda Brown hears the incredible stories of a white girl living among the Bashilele headhunters. In the company of the local police chief, Captain Pierre Jardin, and with the witch doctor's wife, the quick-witted Cripple, along as translator, Amanda heads into the wild hoping to bring the lost girl back to "civilization." But the girl no longer belongs in their world--and the secrets surrounding her birth and disappearance are placing them all in far graver peril than anyone ever imagined.… (more)

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