Blog Tour: The Puma Years by Laura Coleman
Publisher: Little A
Buy link: Click here for amazon link.
Laura was in her early twenties and directionless when she quit her job to backpack in Bolivia. Fate landed her at a wildlife sanctuary on the edge of the Amazon jungle where she was assigned to a beautiful and complex puma named Wayra. Wide-eyed, inexperienced, and comically terrified, Laura made the scrappy, make-do camp her home. And in Wayra, she made a friend for life.
They weren’t alone, not with over a hundred quirky animals to care for, each lost and hurt in their own way: a pair of suicidal, bra-stealing monkeys, a frustrated parrot desperate to fly, and a pig with a wicked sense of humor. The humans, too, were cause for laughter and tears. There were animal whisperers, committed staff, wildly devoted volunteers, handsome heartbreakers, and a machete-wielding prom queen who carried Laura through. Most of all, there was the jungle―lyrical and alive―and there was Wayra, who would ultimately teach Laura so much about love, healing, and the person she was capable of becoming.
Set against a turbulent and poignant backdrop of deforestation, the illegal pet trade, and forest fires, The Puma Years explores what happens when two desperate creatures in need of rescue find one another.
Before I begin, can we please just take a moment and appreciate the stunning cover for this book? The outer cover is wonderful, but I had to include an image of the naked hardback as well. I don't often read hardbacks, but I feel really lucky to have been sent this one for review.
So, while I do read memoirs, they are a tough genre to review because it's obviously based on someone's real life. Many, like this one, are written similarly to fiction and so you feel like you're reading a story. If you don't often read memoirs, please don't let that stop you with this one. It's just incredible.
Laura gives an honest and visceral account of her travels and how she volunteered in Bolivia. I have never been to Bolivia, but her words are so alive that I felt as if I was there while reading. The pages made me breathe deeply in places, trying to feel the breeze or the heat she described. There were a few sections that made my skin crawl (mainly the long drop) but all the way through, I was spellbound by her bravery and her adventures. I felt completely moved by this story, the way that Laura put her emotions on paper, I was there with her and understood the sometimes risky choices she made.
Part of me would love to spend paragraphs describing the various people and wildlife that brought this memoir to life, but I feel that would detract from the reading experience for anyone picking it up. I'll simply agree with the quote on the cover - 'you will love this book' (Jane Goodall)
Thank you so much to Laura for sending me a copy for review, and as always thank you to Anne Cater - there are so many amazing books I've been invited to review recently, I'm so excited to be part of these blog tours and be able to share my thoughts on them.