Ever thought of volunteering at a wildlife sanctuary in Bolivia?
Reading The Puma Years is a way to do it without having to deal with rats, lice, parasites, and fetid swamp water in your gum boots, well as enduring so many multicolored mosquitoes that one hand slap of your forehead kills 86 of them.
Below you can see a photo of Wayra, the puma the author bonded with over ten years of slogging hard work, punctuated by triumphs in the animal’s trust. By the end she’s purring, licking her face, and they are swimming together, but that’s not how it starts out. In the meantime, the author finds herself and a purpose.
I give this unique memoir five stars. It sagged a bit in the middle, when I stopped reading it to read something else; I still heartily recommend it, and am glad I returned to finish it. Sometimes you are just more in the mood for detailed descriptions than others, and there is a copious amount of description here, which really makes you feel like you are right there along with her, sharing her experience. There is a lot of hardship too, with encroaching deforestation, the illegal pet trade, and roaring forest fires, but this is a rewarding read nonetheless.
I listened to this on audio, read by the author in her British accent, which made it feel more tangibly authentic to me.
This book leaves you convicted. What is going to have to change for us to take better care of the earth and its precious creatures?