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The Puma Years: A Memoir of Love and Transformation in the Bolivian Jungle

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In this rapturous memoir, writer and activist Laura Coleman shares the story of her liberating journey in the Amazon jungle and falling in love with a magnificent cat who changed her life. Laura was in her early twenties and directionless when she quit her job to backpack in Bolivia. Fate landed her at a wildlife sanctuary on the edge of the Amazon jungle where she was assi In this rapturous memoir, writer and activist Laura Coleman shares the story of her liberating journey in the Amazon jungle and falling in love with a magnificent cat who changed her life. Laura was in her early twenties and directionless when she quit her job to backpack in Bolivia. Fate landed her at a wildlife sanctuary on the edge of the Amazon jungle where she was assigned to a beautiful and complex puma named Wayra. Wide-eyed, inexperienced, and comically terrified, Laura made the scrappy, make-do camp her home. And in Wayra, she made a friend for life. They weren’t alone, not with over a hundred quirky animals to care for, each lost and hurt in its own way: a pair of suicidal, bra-stealing monkeys, a frustrated parrot desperate to fly, and a pig with a wicked sense of humor. The humans, too, were cause for laughter and tears. There were animal whisperers, committed staff, wildly devoted volunteers, handsome heartbreakers, and a machete-wielding prom queen who carried Laura through. Most of all, there were the jungle—lyrical and alive—and Wayra, who would ultimately teach Laura so much about love, healing, and the person she was capable of becoming. Set against a turbulent and poignant backdrop of deforestation, the illegal pet trade, and forest fires, The Puma Years explores what happens when two desperate creatures in need of rescue find one another.


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In this rapturous memoir, writer and activist Laura Coleman shares the story of her liberating journey in the Amazon jungle and falling in love with a magnificent cat who changed her life. Laura was in her early twenties and directionless when she quit her job to backpack in Bolivia. Fate landed her at a wildlife sanctuary on the edge of the Amazon jungle where she was assi In this rapturous memoir, writer and activist Laura Coleman shares the story of her liberating journey in the Amazon jungle and falling in love with a magnificent cat who changed her life. Laura was in her early twenties and directionless when she quit her job to backpack in Bolivia. Fate landed her at a wildlife sanctuary on the edge of the Amazon jungle where she was assigned to a beautiful and complex puma named Wayra. Wide-eyed, inexperienced, and comically terrified, Laura made the scrappy, make-do camp her home. And in Wayra, she made a friend for life. They weren’t alone, not with over a hundred quirky animals to care for, each lost and hurt in its own way: a pair of suicidal, bra-stealing monkeys, a frustrated parrot desperate to fly, and a pig with a wicked sense of humor. The humans, too, were cause for laughter and tears. There were animal whisperers, committed staff, wildly devoted volunteers, handsome heartbreakers, and a machete-wielding prom queen who carried Laura through. Most of all, there were the jungle—lyrical and alive—and Wayra, who would ultimately teach Laura so much about love, healing, and the person she was capable of becoming. Set against a turbulent and poignant backdrop of deforestation, the illegal pet trade, and forest fires, The Puma Years explores what happens when two desperate creatures in need of rescue find one another.

30 review for The Puma Years: A Memoir of Love and Transformation in the Bolivian Jungle

  1. 5 out of 5

    Desney King

    I am almost 70 years old and I have never read a book like this before: a novel-length love poem for and about the Earth (Pachamama), all her creatures, and the vastness of the universe. Laura Coleman is a beautiful writer with a heart so big it makes romantic love look flimsy; almost inconsequential. The Puma Years immerses us in realms of sensory, emotional and psychological overload; shares with us relationships of so many kinds that at times I felt as though I was spinning, very close to the e I am almost 70 years old and I have never read a book like this before: a novel-length love poem for and about the Earth (Pachamama), all her creatures, and the vastness of the universe. Laura Coleman is a beautiful writer with a heart so big it makes romantic love look flimsy; almost inconsequential. The Puma Years immerses us in realms of sensory, emotional and psychological overload; shares with us relationships of so many kinds that at times I felt as though I was spinning, very close to the edge of being out of control. Flowing through and beneath it all is the pain of environmental devastation, global inaction on climate change, extinction of species and ecosystems - as well as a fierce thread of hope carried by those with the courage and vision and determination to keep on fighting for a viable, healthy, balanced future; people refusing to accept that the forces of destruction could win. Every human we meet in this book is irrevocably changed by their time in the Bolivian Amazon jungle. Reading it has healed and changed something deep within my soul.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jo_Scho_Reads

    A wonderful & exceptionally moving memoir about Laura Coleman’s time at a wildlife sanctuary in Bolivia, focusing especially on the relationship she had with an originally much neglected and mistreated magnificent puma called Wayra, Like Wayra, Laura is also a little bit shy and scared when she arrives at the sanctuary. She may as well have gone to Mars as this crazy place feels like a million miles from home. But the jungle can do strange things to a girl and as days, weeks, months & even seaso A wonderful & exceptionally moving memoir about Laura Coleman’s time at a wildlife sanctuary in Bolivia, focusing especially on the relationship she had with an originally much neglected and mistreated magnificent puma called Wayra, Like Wayra, Laura is also a little bit shy and scared when she arrives at the sanctuary. She may as well have gone to Mars as this crazy place feels like a million miles from home. But the jungle can do strange things to a girl and as days, weeks, months & even seasons pass, Laura starts to change; the layers she’s built like a protective shell around her are thrown aside & she grows and becomes more confident. And she feels a lot of it is down to Wayra. The bond she has with this magnificent cat is like nothing else; ad a reader it will enchant you, warm your heart & also breaks it a little, because no matter how strong the pull of the jungle is, nothing lasts forever. There’s also important issues within this book relating to conservation & climate change. As deforestation continues, where will these wild animals go as their habitat is lost forever? There are lots of lessons to be learned from this book but it’s so much more than that. It’s a beautifully uplifting story of love and loss. As an animal lover this was a truly wonderful read. I was never brave enough to travel to a place like Bolivia in my youth, but Laura’s evocative & immersive writing made me feel like I was there. My heart raced with fear on a few occasions, I smiled with delight on others and I wiped away many a tear at the friendships between humans and animals. An outstanding book, I could go on more but you need to see it for yourself! Thanks to Random Things Tours & Little A for my ARC. All views my own.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Regan

    Unbelievable This is an incredible story of a woman who had drifted from one job to another and decided to backpack through Bolivia. While there, she saw a flier to volunteer at a wild animal rescue. She only planned on staying a few weeks. She gets assigned a cat - a puma named Wayra. She is taught how to walk her. The jungle is not a forgiving place. Alternatively so rainy that you have to wade through swamp and so dry that the whole mountains burn, filled with bugs, monkeys, wild pigs, Jaguars Unbelievable This is an incredible story of a woman who had drifted from one job to another and decided to backpack through Bolivia. While there, she saw a flier to volunteer at a wild animal rescue. She only planned on staying a few weeks. She gets assigned a cat - a puma named Wayra. She is taught how to walk her. The jungle is not a forgiving place. Alternatively so rainy that you have to wade through swamp and so dry that the whole mountains burn, filled with bugs, monkeys, wild pigs, Jaguars and even a misplaced lion, the volunteers barely survive, and many left with PTSD. Laura Coleman goes home only to return again and again. While she is home, she uses her talents to raise money and awareness to the Amazon that is shrinking daily due to global warming, deforestation, an uncaring government, and a thriving animal trade. This book is gut wrenching and it will make you cry, it will make you angry, and hopefully make you think. I would recommend this book to everyone.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jola

    Review to come.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Unmoored, the author arrives at a Bolivian animal sanctuary for a month long stint in helping the animals. She first works with the pias who peck at her and remove almost all buttons from her clothes. Aghast at the filth of the camp and the human inhabitants she wonders if she will make it a month. She is tasked with caring for a puma and her world turns upside down. This memoir is outstandingly joyous, depressing and heartbreaking. You must read it if you care about the earth.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sharleen

    “A love letter to Wyra, the jungle, and to the place and the people that changed my life.” I wanted a book to escape into - and this was exactly that. The descriptions of the animals, and the Bolivian jungle, in all its different seasons and states, were transporting. Laura describes the jungle as being in a constant state of “creation and decay” and I think her writing really captures that well. I did this as an audio book but I recommend getting your hands on a physical copy because it include “A love letter to Wyra, the jungle, and to the place and the people that changed my life.” I wanted a book to escape into - and this was exactly that. The descriptions of the animals, and the Bolivian jungle, in all its different seasons and states, were transporting. Laura describes the jungle as being in a constant state of “creation and decay” and I think her writing really captures that well. I did this as an audio book but I recommend getting your hands on a physical copy because it includes photographs and a map of the park, and more importantly proceeds from the book go towards funding the work they do at the park!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jon Cassidy

    I've spent time at the same CIWY animal sanctuary in Bolivia, it's always been hard to explain to friends back home the impact this place and experience can have on you. This book does it perfectly, brought back so many fond memories. Her descriptions of the settings and emotions experienced puts you right in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. Great read. I've spent time at the same CIWY animal sanctuary in Bolivia, it's always been hard to explain to friends back home the impact this place and experience can have on you. This book does it perfectly, brought back so many fond memories. Her descriptions of the settings and emotions experienced puts you right in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. Great read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Susan Wright

    This is a great, eye-opening read ... about a 24-year-old girl who in 2007 spent a year as a volunteer taking care & protecting wildlife at a Bolivian animal sanctuary, which rescues animals that have been illegally trafficked. The whole jungle experience from the dedicated staff & friends she makes & lives with ... to the majestic, beautiful wild animals they look after -- and one puma in particular -- would come to transform her life. If you're an animal person & want to support wildlife in th This is a great, eye-opening read ... about a 24-year-old girl who in 2007 spent a year as a volunteer taking care & protecting wildlife at a Bolivian animal sanctuary, which rescues animals that have been illegally trafficked. The whole jungle experience from the dedicated staff & friends she makes & lives with ... to the majestic, beautiful wild animals they look after -- and one puma in particular -- would come to transform her life. If you're an animal person & want to support wildlife in the Amazon, you'll want to check this memoir out. It's touching, moving, heartbreaking & inspiring. The author's story recounts her arrival at the jungle sanctuary at first as a scared, guarded kid and tells of her days there as she is assigned to look after a wild pissed-off puma (named Wayra) that has trust issues of her own. With a lot of work, the two eventually form a bond & trust ... that's enough to melt the heart ... The author comes to learn quite a bit from the experience and little by little it opens a window on her life. I liked how the story brings to life the committed wildlife staff & other volunteers she becomes friends with, and their everyday thrills, hardships, and threats they face in their work with the wild pumas and jaguars and in living in the Amazon ... from bugs, parasites, floods, deforestation, and forest fires. There's much to be done to protect it, and this moving story makes clear we need to support -- by volunteering or donating -- to these Bolivian sanctuaries ASAP.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Merry

    One of my favorite books of all times! The Puma Years is a memoir written by a young British woman who found herself at loose ends as she drifted from job to job, not knowing what she wanted to do with her life. She decided to spend a few months in Bolivia (not sure why Bolivia, but what the heck) to try to figure it out. A couple of weeks before she was to return home, she became a volunteer at a wildlife refuge for animals that had been rescued from dire circumstances (people who had owned the One of my favorite books of all times! The Puma Years is a memoir written by a young British woman who found herself at loose ends as she drifted from job to job, not knowing what she wanted to do with her life. She decided to spend a few months in Bolivia (not sure why Bolivia, but what the heck) to try to figure it out. A couple of weeks before she was to return home, she became a volunteer at a wildlife refuge for animals that had been rescued from dire circumstances (people who had owned them as exotic pets, unreputable zoos, etc). On one of her first calls home, she tells her mother "I met someone" - that someone is Wayra, a puma who was very broken and whom Laura couldn't bear to leave. Hence, her two weeks as a volunteer turned into years. It is worth reading the book just for Laura's vivid descriptions of the sights, sounds, people, emotions, you get my drift. Her writing is entrancing, quite often humorous. As an example, when Laura first arrived at the camp, she writes: "Then I hear something else over the jungle hum. It's a terrible rumbling, and a huge black pig suddenly catapults out of the undergrowth. She raises her head - a red bra clasped between her teeth - and locks eyes with me." Yep, definitely a new favorite for me. I highly recommend it!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cherise Wolas

    A memoir that is lyrical, sometimes funny, often heartbreaking, and perpetually atmospheric. I enjoyed vicariously being in the Bolivian jungle, getting to know Laura, the leaders of the animal sanctuary, the other volunteers, and the animals themselves. An uplifting book. With a lot of mosquito bites.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Yesyoucandy

    Such a wonderful book. Highly recommend. The rescue shelter is so compelling - all these incredible hilarious and moving animals (humans included). And the jungle brought to life so vividly. It’s no wonder Laura found such a transformative experience there. It’s centered around her relationship with a troubled but wonderful puma named Wayra - a real deep dive into the harsh realities and the captivating joys of the jungle. Hope you buy it and enjoy it and enjoy it as much as I did.

  12. 4 out of 5

    David Parker

    Peeling the Onion We are all broken and need love and healing. It’s the unknown and fear that separates us. It’s greed that is killing us.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alice Jackman

    If you’ve ever traveled to another country and fallen in love with its people and culture then this book is for you. If you’ve ever loved an animal more than you loved most humans then this book is for you. If you’ve ever fought against societal expectations of how you should live a ‘normal’ life then this book is for you. If you’re concerned about the impact we have on the natural world and how that world is changing then this book is for you.

  14. 4 out of 5

    M

    "When the last tree is cut, when the last animal is hunted, when the last river is polluted, it will be then that man will realize that money cannot be eaten..." Excellent book. Beautifully written. Everyone needs to read this book. It is a powerful, engaging story, and one that I couldn't put down. What is the book about? Well, I could say it is about one 20-something woman's transformational journey working with fiercely intelligent and proud pumas among the muck, mud, and "mozzies" in an animal "When the last tree is cut, when the last animal is hunted, when the last river is polluted, it will be then that man will realize that money cannot be eaten..." Excellent book. Beautifully written. Everyone needs to read this book. It is a powerful, engaging story, and one that I couldn't put down. What is the book about? Well, I could say it is about one 20-something woman's transformational journey working with fiercely intelligent and proud pumas among the muck, mud, and "mozzies" in an animal rescue sanctuary. Alternatively, I could describe the book as one that tells the story of the jungle and the animals that try to survive there--and how humans have destroyed habitats and species through slash and burn farming and the illegal exotic animal trade. Or I could describe the book as a tale of how global economics have impacted the environment and lives of people everywhere. But it is all of these messages and more. Ultimately, the author describes the key point better than I can when she says: "Environmental justice cannot be separated from social justice. The two are deeply intertwined." If you only have a few books to read in 2021, make this one of them. You won't regret it. (NOTE: I received this book through Amazon First Reads.)

  15. 5 out of 5

    C A Gentle

    I got this book free from Amazon First Reads. I chose this book as I liked the idea of reading something completely different. I found it an amazing read. I loved reading the author's story - how she came to be working as a volunteer and all the stories about the animals, particularly "her cat" Wayra the Puma. The writing was so descriptive and didn't pull any punches. It was lovely to read how the author grew and developed and what she is doing now. I liked the way the book not only developed t I got this book free from Amazon First Reads. I chose this book as I liked the idea of reading something completely different. I found it an amazing read. I loved reading the author's story - how she came to be working as a volunteer and all the stories about the animals, particularly "her cat" Wayra the Puma. The writing was so descriptive and didn't pull any punches. It was lovely to read how the author grew and developed and what she is doing now. I liked the way the book not only developed the story of the animals and volunteers, but also the environmental impact and the importance of organisations that protect the environment along with the people and animals who live there.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Hanners

    An exquisitely written 'love letter' from a woman to the jungle community that changed her life, this book is much more than just a travelogue. It's equal parts adventure, self reflection, romance, memory, and education. It's a collection of characters - human and animal -that are not easily forgotten after the book is finished. Coleman presents the jungle in a way I've never before had it described to me. She imbues it with its own spirit and personality, such that it is just as important a pro An exquisitely written 'love letter' from a woman to the jungle community that changed her life, this book is much more than just a travelogue. It's equal parts adventure, self reflection, romance, memory, and education. It's a collection of characters - human and animal -that are not easily forgotten after the book is finished. Coleman presents the jungle in a way I've never before had it described to me. She imbues it with its own spirit and personality, such that it is just as important a protagonist as the author herself. The Puma Years left me wanting to know more about the characters lives after the book and deeply invested in the fate of the parcel of jungle she called home for so many years. It's an emotional read but it's also exciting enough that you don't want to put it down. Her descriptive ability is second to none. I highly recommend this book to anyone with an adventurer's spirit or who knows how special the bond between human and nature can be.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Eva Maz

    This book is a rattling good read. A young woman lands in a wild life park in Bolivia and so begins her journey of discovery- of herself, and all manner of lost souls who have been snatched from their natural worlds by hunting humans and then discarded at a whim. She meets and falls in love with a mad bad adorable puma whose fear of the world is communicated through anger and aggression. This book explores the impact of environmental change and destruction at a very personal level. The yearly fi This book is a rattling good read. A young woman lands in a wild life park in Bolivia and so begins her journey of discovery- of herself, and all manner of lost souls who have been snatched from their natural worlds by hunting humans and then discarded at a whim. She meets and falls in love with a mad bad adorable puma whose fear of the world is communicated through anger and aggression. This book explores the impact of environmental change and destruction at a very personal level. The yearly fires which are fought by a handful of volunteers are truly terrifying. It also portrays and explores the range of feelings that humans and animals share. Read it now!!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Westre

    Longer than it needed to be Her story is very cool but, her use of 10 metaphors per page got really old after the first chapter. For me, the metaphors and similes added nothing but length to the book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sahar

    This book is extraordinary! One of the most beautiful books I’ve read this year.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alfred Nobile

    This was an outstanding book. The likes of which I've never read before. It is a memoir, but much more than just than that. It tells the story of Laura, who tiring of mundane jobs decides to backpack in Bolivia. Whilst there she comes across a flier that tells her about a wildlife park looking for volunteers and decides to give it s go. Another way to fill in a few weeks. This is where the story really takes off and Laura finds herself having to put up with hardships and learning to care for wild This was an outstanding book. The likes of which I've never read before. It is a memoir, but much more than just than that. It tells the story of Laura, who tiring of mundane jobs decides to backpack in Bolivia. Whilst there she comes across a flier that tells her about a wildlife park looking for volunteers and decides to give it s go. Another way to fill in a few weeks. This is where the story really takes off and Laura finds herself having to put up with hardships and learning to care for wild animals. Not only wild but damaged in someway. A book that you learn along with Laura as she faces not only her fears but the fears of the animals she is caring for and trying to understand how they feel. Laura finds herself caring for a puma named Wyra. It is a tale of caution and learning to trust one another. A book that teaches you as you read. It tells the story of hardships, Forest fires, the illegal animal trade. It tell a tale that makes you angry, sad and despairing of the effect mankind is having on the environment and the natural world. A tale of Laura, the natural world and maybe all is not lost and we can change the path we seem set upon. The writing is of an exceptional quality with not a wasted word and is all tied up in a bundle of food for thought. Highly recommended!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jashan

    The Puma Years is a brilliant , brutal and beautiful book about a directionless Laura who finds her life’s purpose in a wildlife sanctuary , and builds an unforgettable bond with Wayra, the gorgeous puma. Shedding a light on the need for wildlife conservation, environmental justice and the heart-wrenching reality of what it takes to contribute to these aspects , this book is a must read for anyone who wants an honest , unflinching look at how someone found herself while doing a world of good alo The Puma Years is a brilliant , brutal and beautiful book about a directionless Laura who finds her life’s purpose in a wildlife sanctuary , and builds an unforgettable bond with Wayra, the gorgeous puma. Shedding a light on the need for wildlife conservation, environmental justice and the heart-wrenching reality of what it takes to contribute to these aspects , this book is a must read for anyone who wants an honest , unflinching look at how someone found herself while doing a world of good along the way. Extra love for the beautiful creature that is Wayra- Laura and Wayra are so lucky to have found each other .

  22. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Intense, emotionally gripping memoir The Puma Years, by Laura Coleman, was offered as a First Read to Amazon Prime members. I chose this book because memoir is my favorite genre to read. I was not disappointed. Laura Coleman’s experiences in the Amazonian jungle of Bolivia are brought vividly to life on every page. Humanity’s priorities are on full display in the action throughout her memoir, the consequences they experienced and all the future ramifications in the small corner of the world where Intense, emotionally gripping memoir The Puma Years, by Laura Coleman, was offered as a First Read to Amazon Prime members. I chose this book because memoir is my favorite genre to read. I was not disappointed. Laura Coleman’s experiences in the Amazonian jungle of Bolivia are brought vividly to life on every page. Humanity’s priorities are on full display in the action throughout her memoir, the consequences they experienced and all the future ramifications in the small corner of the world where the author chose to land. Choices she makes in Bolivia also render The Puma Years an emotional tale of self-discovery. The book is one you’ll find hard to put down. I was especially glad to find the acknowledgments and update on the Parque provided in the endnotes. Brava to Laura Coleman.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Romaine Furmston-Evans

    I loved this book. Its a truly transportive read. You will feel as though you have travelled to the jungle yourself. You will fall in love with Wayra and the other animals and travel with Laura through the ups and downs of life in the parque. Not only is this book an immersive rollercoaster of emotion and vivid descriptions of jungle life. It's an extremely important eye opener for many who have no idea the impact of the current environmental crisis. Parques like these are on the front lines of fo I loved this book. Its a truly transportive read. You will feel as though you have travelled to the jungle yourself. You will fall in love with Wayra and the other animals and travel with Laura through the ups and downs of life in the parque. Not only is this book an immersive rollercoaster of emotion and vivid descriptions of jungle life. It's an extremely important eye opener for many who have no idea the impact of the current environmental crisis. Parques like these are on the front lines of forest fires and the fight against animal trafficking. Instead of donating to big charities your money is better spent here. Open your eyes and your hearts to a small grassroots organisation which really changes lives. And not just the animals, trust me I've been there too.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marion Sheppard

    4.5. Such a beautiful memoir of the author’s time in a Bolivian animal sanctuary and her love for a Puma named Wayra. God bless those volunteers who gave selflessly to care for animals rescued from less than optimal situations, those who should have remained in the wild for their natural born lives. And a subtext to the book is how society has encroached on the land, taking resources and threatening the animals’ habitats, and the government offering little to no support for the sanctuary. I foun 4.5. Such a beautiful memoir of the author’s time in a Bolivian animal sanctuary and her love for a Puma named Wayra. God bless those volunteers who gave selflessly to care for animals rescued from less than optimal situations, those who should have remained in the wild for their natural born lives. And a subtext to the book is how society has encroached on the land, taking resources and threatening the animals’ habitats, and the government offering little to no support for the sanctuary. I found this to be a wonderful read on so many levels.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sonja

    Wow! Anyone who lived a life like this in the Amazon jungle and wrote a wonderful book about her experiences deserves a 5! I am grateful for people like this who can survive living in a place to care for injured animals where I would never want to be, what with so many mosquitoes, animal poo, and just so many inconveniences that imagining wearing the same sweaty, filthy clothes for a week, taking one cold shower a week, and having to wear lots of clothing in the summer season and freeze to death Wow! Anyone who lived a life like this in the Amazon jungle and wrote a wonderful book about her experiences deserves a 5! I am grateful for people like this who can survive living in a place to care for injured animals where I would never want to be, what with so many mosquitoes, animal poo, and just so many inconveniences that imagining wearing the same sweaty, filthy clothes for a week, taking one cold shower a week, and having to wear lots of clothing in the summer season and freeze to death in the winter, and deal with an outhouse for years and years. I kept wondering when she was going to leave for good, even if the only reason was being able to wear clean clothes and take a shower every day and not have to deal with rats, snakes, parasites, yucky food, and not enough medical care, in case it's needed. She truly loved her cat, Wayra, so much that she stuck with it for many years on a full time basis before going on to other work but making an annual trip to Bolivia every year just to see how her beloved pet was doing. One can just see and feel everything she went through. Me, I was happy to read about it and not to have been there. However, looking up Bolivia and seeing the scenery, I can appreciate how beautiful it is there - if only there weren't any creepy, crawly insects, etc., to put up with. Bravo to Laura!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carolina

    Even if it got repetitive at times, I couldn't stop reading this book. Every page is filled with vivid images that make you travel to the jungle and meet the sanctuary's animals through Laura's eyes, each one of them with their own heartbreaking story and complicated lovable personality. I would say this is a book about love and the complexity of relationships, especially of the relationship with ourselves. Even if it got repetitive at times, I couldn't stop reading this book. Every page is filled with vivid images that make you travel to the jungle and meet the sanctuary's animals through Laura's eyes, each one of them with their own heartbreaking story and complicated lovable personality. I would say this is a book about love and the complexity of relationships, especially of the relationship with ourselves.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Harries

    Amazingly special experience to read this book where it’s set and in the vicinity of its lovely author. Highly recommend for an enjoyable, heartfelt, escapist read (if you don’t mind a little bit of ickyness)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sara B

    Three stars for the writing, plus one more for the impact of this story. I recommend it!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Yikes, I'm definitely in the minority here. But, like any good break up line: it's not you, it's me. I'm just not an animal lover. But I think the author went on an incredibly, brave, amazing journey and I think that's so admirable. I think anyone who loves a good memoir and/or animals should read this. Yikes, I'm definitely in the minority here. But, like any good break up line: it's not you, it's me. I'm just not an animal lover. But I think the author went on an incredibly, brave, amazing journey and I think that's so admirable. I think anyone who loves a good memoir and/or animals should read this.

  30. 5 out of 5

    George Crowder

    This was a remarkably good book to get for free from Amazon First Reads, most of which are not terrible, but not outstanding. This was compelling on many levels. It is first, a love story between a woman and a disfunctional puma named Wayra, that is so well-written that you can at least sort of identify with the author's compulsive attraction to the cat, much like Anne Rice's masterful writing in Interview with the Vampire brought you under the spell of the vampire Lestat. More broadly, it sheds This was a remarkably good book to get for free from Amazon First Reads, most of which are not terrible, but not outstanding. This was compelling on many levels. It is first, a love story between a woman and a disfunctional puma named Wayra, that is so well-written that you can at least sort of identify with the author's compulsive attraction to the cat, much like Anne Rice's masterful writing in Interview with the Vampire brought you under the spell of the vampire Lestat. More broadly, it sheds light on the dedication of many people to devote large chunks of their life and survive under the most physically wretched conditions to bond with and care for wild animals in the the reserves of Bolivia. Many of them struggle to reintegrate into conventional society and live any semblance of "normal" lives, which probably lack the intensity and sense of purpose they experienced in the jungle. On another level, it chronicles the destruction of the rainforest and the progressive ravages of climate change on a sensitive ecosystem. Highly recommended.

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