Journey to the River Sea – Eva Ibbotson
When I was younger I thought this book was quite enchanting.
Maia is a girl sent to live with distant relatives in the Amazon. They are extremely intolerant to the local native ways and are keep Maia for the allowance she provides them – so they may spoil their repulsive twin daughters. In the Amazon, Maia meets two boys who are both remarkably different and helps them to realise what it is they want. The book tells of their trials on the Amazon, and their interaction with the wildlife and old, mysterious traditions. The message: a place is what you make of it.
Although the book still holds its charms I was a little disappointed on a recent re-read. In my mind, the Amazon was written in a wonderful, almost magical way, with many bright colours – I was transported to a different world. It’s a story about children who are thrown into a difficult situation, and their lives there. Maybe my adult reading of it separated me to what it showed me as a child.
Maybe I will keep it on my shelf. I still think of it as enchanting: my image of it remains magical, and it transports me worlds away.
“Those who think of the Amazon as a Green Hell bring only their fear and prejudices to this amazing land, for whether a place is a hell or heaven rests in yourself and those who go with courage and an open mind may find themselves in Paradise.”