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