Author: Marina Chapman with Vanessa James and Lynn Barrett-Lee
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication Date: April 2013
Description: In 1954, in a remote mountain village in South America, a little girl was abducted. She was four years old. Marina Chapman was stolen from her housing estate and then abandoned deep in the Colombian jungle. That she survived is a miracle. Two days later, half-drugged, terrified, and starving, she came upon a troop of capuchin monkeys. Acting entirely on instinct, she tried to do what they did: she ate what they ate and copied their actions, and little by little, learned to fend for herself. So begins the story of her five years among the monkeys, during which time she gradually became feral; she lost the ability to speak, lost all inhibition, lost any real sense of being human, replacing the structure of human society with the social mores of her new simian family. But society was eventually to reclaim her. At age ten she was discovered by a pair of hunters who took her to the lawless Colombian city of Cucuta where, in exchange for a parrot, they sold her to a brothel…
Wow! This book was hard to put down. The further I read, the more I was amazed that Marina survived. Her story reads like a good novel. The fact that it’s true makes it that much more compelling. It was especially interesting to read about her time with the monkeys and how she learned from them and taught herself to climb trees, to make her own safe sleeping place, and take care of herself at such a young age.
Some are questioning whether it is a true story, I’m sure because she went through so much in her first 14 years or so. The Sunday Telegraph investigated her story and corroborated many of the facts but no one has been able to verify her time in the jungle. I believe her story is true, especially after watching her story on the Today Show. I am looking forward to the next book about Marina’s life after being taken in by a good family, meeting her husband and having a family of her own.
New copies of this book are available at Sleepygirl’s Used Books.