Two girls survive a terrible flood in the Tasmanian bush and are rescued by a pair of Tasmanian tigers who raise them in the wild. Their story of survival is remarkable, as they adapt to the life of the tiger, learning to hunt and to communicate without the use of human language. When they are discovered and returned to civilization, neither can adapt to being fully human after their extraordinary experience. Totally believable, their story will both shock and captivate readers as it explores the animal instincts that lie beneath our civilized veneer and celebrates the ways of the tiger.
Into That Forest
Me name be Hannah o 'Brien and I be seventy-six years old. Me first thing is an apology me language is bad cos I lost it and had to learn it again. But here's me story and I be glad to tell it before I hop the twig.
I were born in Tasmania, born not in a hospital but here in the backblocks. In this actual house. It is crumbling round me ears now, but the roof hardly leaks and if I chop enough wood I can heat the place when it snows. Though I live here by meself I am not lonely. I got a wedding photograph of me mother and me father when men wore beards and sat down for the picture while me mother wears a wedding dress and stands beside him. And there's me father's harpoon hanging from the living room wall with its cracked wooden handle and rusted blade. Me only new thing is the cabinet with a radio in it which Mr Dixon down at the general store gave me. I can't hack it. There always be mongrel music in it, like it's ...
Into That Forest raises questions about loss in all its forms, from personal grief to the extinction of a species. But the novel also gives us an incredible chance to "crawl" into the burrow of a Tasmanian tiger, which opens the mind to the magnificence of animals in general.
(Reviewed by Jennifer G Wilder).
Full Review (1254 words).
When Hannah, the narrator of Lois Nowra's Into That Forest, encounters her first Tasmanian tiger, she is mesmerized:
I turned and there, on the bank not more than ten yards from us, were a wolf creature with yellow fur and black stripes. It were about the size of a real large dog…It had a long muzzle and stripes on its sides like a tiger. The tail were thick and the fur so fine and smooth, it were like it didn't have hair. It's like a wolf, I heard me mother say, and indeed it looked like those wolves I seen in me fairy-tale books. It stared at us with huge black eyes, then it opened its jaw real slow till I thought it could swallow a baby. I'd have bailed out if it were not the most bonny, handsomest thing I ever seen.
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