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Euphoria - Lily King Adventure, romance, love triangle, despair, intellectual, feminist… Euphoria bundles many themes that appeal to me and I was swept away. Very loosely based on the lives of anthropologists Margaret Mead, Reo Fortune, and Gregory Bateson while doing field work in 1930s New Guinea. It seemed like a magical time, when there were non-western cultures to be explored, and a few open minded western anthropologists who approached the study without the rubric of western superiority or righteousness. Such adventures do not come easy, they are fraught with disease, pests, bad food, danger and incredible loneliness, but this is not a tale of triumph over adversity. Instead, it’s clever blend of character and anthropology, of how three people are trying to figure out how to do their work while doing their work, each with a very different approach.

It is also very subtle, maybe a bit too subtle; there is much that the author leaves unwritten. Written in the alternating POVs of Nell Stone and Andrew Bankson (with Nell’s husband Fen in the middle), it took a few chapters to get the cadence. Author, would it kill you to introduce the narrator and/or setting in each chapter? (this was my only niggle)

One thing I really loved about this was the portrayal of Nell, a complex character and feminist. Specifically, it wasn't a story of her liberation, which was stipulated. Rather, it was how she went about her work, her live and her loves.

Now, I really need to read up on the real characters. This is not a memoir or biography, and the author makes radical departures from the real characters. I think that's a good thing as I thought the ending of Euphoria was just right.