Monday, February 22, 2016

Lost in Shangri-La

Because this book is called Lost in Shangri-La I assumed it would tell the story of a plane crash over Tibet.  However, Shangri-La ended up being a pet name for an area of New Guinea that was uncharted and unexplored.  There were huge differences in the mythical Shangri-La of Tibet and this remote jungle area on an island in the Pacific....one huge difference was the cannibalistic natives to be found there!  In 1945 a group of Army enlisted and officers, WACS as well as men flew over the area they had heard so much about, on a "sight-seeing" trip, hoping to spot the natives who lived there from the height of the plane.  Because of the difficult access through the mountains surrounding the valley they wished to see, the plane ran into trouble and crashed.  All were killed but two men and three women, and all of the survivors were badly injured.   Later, only one of the women remained.  She and the two men went through terrible trials while they waited for rescue, unsure that they would ever BE rescued.  This is their story, and it is one of courage and determination by the survivors and their rescuers.  A really delightful book; just fascinating.  I loved reading it!  Kudos to Mitchell Zuckoff for taking an almost unknown event during the last months of the war, and researching it and presenting it in this very readable tribute to these men and women!


Corporal Margaret Hastings with native children...she survived to tell her story!

6 comments:

  1. Wow, I bet that WAS an interesting read. I love true stories anyway and this one has so many different variables. Thanks for sharing this with us, Marie.

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  2. I have to write that one down and look it up at the library. sounds very intriguing.

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  3. This sounds like a book I would like. I have a favorite vintage book titled, 'Headhunters in the Solomon Islands' about two daring young women at the turn of the century who visited Papua New Guinea. I'll put this one on my list!

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  4. That sounds like a good read. Survival stories are so hard to believe. The human spirit is amazing.

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  5. Thank you for your great comments! Glad the book is of interest to so many of you!

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  6. Sounds like I need to look out for this book, the cover it pretty cool too.

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