Friday, May 10, 2013

Book Review: Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan – Robin Maxwell

Cambridge, England: 1905.  Jane Porter is hardly a typical woman of her time.  The only female student in Cambridge University’s medical program, she is far more comfortable in a lab coat, dissecting corpses, than she is in a corset and gown, sipping afternoon tea.  A budding paleoanthropologist, Jane dreams of traveling the globe in search of fossils that will prove the evolutionary theories of her scientific hero, Charles Darwin.

When dashing American explorer Ral Conrath invites Jane and her father on an expedition deep into West Africa, she can hardly believe her luck.  Rising to the challenge, Jane finds in Africa that is every bit exotic and fascinating as she has always imagined.  But she quickly learns that the lush jungle is full of secrets—and so is Ral Conrath.  When danger strikes, Jane finds her hero, the key to humanity’s past, and an all-consuming love in one extraordinary man:  Tarzan of the Apes.

Jane is the first version of the Tarzan story written by a woman and authorized by the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate.  Its 2012 publication will mark the centennial of the publications of the original Tarzan of the Apes.

3/5 stars (liked it)
Having never read any Tarzan book and the only movie I have seen is Disney’s version of Tarzan I really did not know what to expect.  I like that the story is told from Jane’s point of view rather than Tarzan.  Although we do find out how Tarzan got where he was through his father’s journals.  Jane taught Tarzan how to speak and he in turn taught her his own language.  Also the “apes” that raise Tarzan are the missing link in the evolutionary world and that makes a lot more sense than him being raised by actual apes.  The ending left me hanging a little bit as things were not explained.  I am hoping for some sort of follow up book to tell us what happened after Jane left Africa.

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