Euphoria

Euphoria

A Novel

Book - 2014
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From New England Book Award winner Lily King comes a breathtaking novel about three young anthropologists of the '30's caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives.
English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in the Territory of New Guinea. Haunted by the memory of his brothers' deaths and increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with colleagues, the controversial Nell Stone and her wry and mercurial Australian husband Fen, pulls him back from the brink. Nell and Fen have just fled the bloodthirsty Mumbanyo and, in spite of Nell's poor health, are hungry for a new discovery. When Bankson finds them a new tribe nearby, the artistic, female-dominated Tam, he ignites an intellectual and romantic firestorm between the three of them that burns out of anyone's control.

Set between two World Wars and inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is an enthralling story of passion, possession, exploration, and sacrifice from accomplished author Lily King.
Publisher: New York, NY : Atlantic Monthly Press, c2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780802122551
Branch Call Number: FIC King
Characteristics: 261 p

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orange_lobster_23
Apr 12, 2018

Loosely based on the lives of Margaret Meade, her first and second husbands, this novel is an intriguing look at the ambitious professional obsession and complex evolving inter-relationships of the three main characters. Piqued my interest to learn more about the real life people on which this novel is based.

DBRL_ReginaF Mar 11, 2018

My only complaint is that this book is too short. I want more. I guess I will just have to go read more about Margaret Mead.

ArapahoeAnnaL Dec 26, 2017

A wonderfully engaging historical novel based loosely on the life of Margaret Mead. Friendship, love, and philosophy among anthropologists studying river tribes in New Guinea. One of the NYT Book Review's 10 best books of 2014.

BostonPL_LauraB Jun 24, 2017

Loved the setting and reading about how the early anthropologists might have worked, including the main subject of this story Nell (loosely based on Margaret Mead), her husband Fen (ugh), and a British anthropologist named Bankson. I even kind-of liked the love triangle aspect, although it was very obvious who she *should* choose the whole time. I found it to be an insanely fast read, which may also help with my rating of it as well. I think I'd recommend it, but be prepared for a bit of a love story and the pining that may accompany that.

Megan_PNW May 02, 2017

This book is humid. It is dense with a strong sense of place and filled with complex character relationships. A great pick for book clubs!

a
AlteredStaite
Apr 19, 2017

The writing is good. One sticks with it to the end. Don't know what this says about the reader.

This is the second novel of Lily King's hoping the 'heroine' would off herself and let all the people she's been abusing get on with their lives and find some happiness.

Why does this author write about dysfunctional and somewhat abusive but "wildly attractive" (according to her) women who have some terrible secret to hide from their distant past that makes them irresistible to decent men and children?

I'm tempted but determined to stay away from The Pleasing Hour until I've read something positive and uplifting beforehand.

r
ryner
Oct 26, 2016

When Andrew Bankson meets fellow anthropologists Nell Stone and her husband Fen in New Guinea, they have just emerged from a treacherous experience studying the Mumbanyo and are looking for an alternative mission of discovery. He offers to deliver them to a new, unstudied tribe a bit further up the river, all the while endlessly fascinated and captivated by the couple -- Nell in particular.

Based loosely on events and people in the life of renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead, 'Euphoria' is a love triangle simultaneously offering readers a tantalizing peek into the field of anthropology in the early- to mid-1900s -- even better enjoyed if you have ever wanted to be an anthropologist yourself. I particularly enjoyed the scene with Nell's mental rendering of her fellow white women's cultural grooming habits in anthro-speak. It's a slim volume, and a quick, delightful read.

e
EmilyEm
Oct 05, 2016

Wonderful characters and sense of place—well done historical fiction.

p
Pisinga
Oct 03, 2016

While I was reading this book, I was thinking - What a waste of a really good topic and interesting material: endless names of tribes; unlikeable, incomplete, characters of westerners...
But last 30 or so pages, raised my opinion of the book.

b
becker
Sep 21, 2016

There was so much to love about this story of 3 anthropologists who are doing field research in New Guinea. The setting is great - both moody and interesting and I loved the introspective approach to revealing these characters and their awkward relationships to each other. Every time I picked the book up, I would just fall into that world for awhile. I love when a book can do that for me. I will definitely come back to this book again and will look for other novels by this author.

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