I picked up and put down Euphoria by Lily King multiple times before I finally pulled the trigger and took it home with me, mostly because of the map on the inside cover, I love a good map. King's fourth novel is based loosely on the life of anthropologist Margaret Mead and focuses of the lives of three scientists studying native cultures in New Guinea in the 1930s.
Nell, is the most famous of the three anthropologists because of a highly successful book she has written. She is a friendly, sharp, inquisitive woman who I immediately liked. Nell is married to Fen, a jealous, childish Australian who wants nothing more than to supersede his wife's fame, I instantly couldn't stand this character. The third scientist and book's narrator is Bankson, an Englishman who recently attempted suicide but is positively influenced by the arrival of Nell and Fen. Bankson became my favorite of the trio because of his humanity and compassion.
Euphoria is a short novel, but is filled with highly-descriptive scenes on what life was like for anthropologists in the 1930s. Nell, Fen and Bankson's lives are forever changed because of their time spent together on the Sepik River. And while not all of the changes for the three are positive, Euphoria does an exceptional job at ending Nell, Fen and Bankson's tale in an extremely beautiful way.