The Headhunter's Daughter by Tamar Myers arrived in my mailbox on Monday (from the Publishers) just as I was finishing the other book. Perfect timing.
The Headhunter's Daughter takes place in the Congo during the 1950's while still under Belgium rule. The rumor that there is a white girl living with the Bashilele headhunters reaches the ears of the Police Captain. Could she be the same girl that went missing as an infant thirteen years ago?
The mystery untangles after the girl, now known as Ugly Eyes, comes to live in the mission house with the American Protestant missionaries and specifically young missionary Amanda Brown. Who was responsible for kidnapping the girl in the first place and will she be able to assimilate into white society after being raised and loved by bushmen? These are the questions that unfold during this tale.
The story was interesting and the plot held a lot of promise. When the mystery unravels at the end, it seems almost anti-climatic.
I actually had trouble really enjoying this novel. The writing style is unique. The author, telling the story with complete omniscience, skips so quickly from one person's thoughts to the next that I regularly had to go back and reread a paragraph to see where I had missed the change.
The setting of the Congo is, as always, fascinating and rich. Describing the landscape, the wildlife and the indigenous people is definitely Myers's strong point. Myers, who grew up in the Congo with her missionary parents, clearly knows and loves the land. But I'd hoped for more. This is certainly no Poisonwood Bible.
While I did receive a free copy of the book from the Publishers, this review is my honest opinion and I received no additional compensation.