WILD HEART by Anne E. Neimark


The Story of Joy Adamson, Author of Born Free
Age Range: 12 - 14
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. Adamson is revered as one of the pioneers of the endangered animal movement; Neimark, though capturing much of Adamson’s milieu and the events of her life, paints her as a talented, but impulsive, moody woman. Growing up in Austria between world wars, Adamson trained as a pianist and as an artist. At 18, while attending a ball, she is carried off by a masked “apache” who declares, “You are mine.” The author burbles: “She felt the strength of his arms and the gritty warmth of his body.” That’s only one instance where the lack of source notes is keenly felt; readers will have to digest some astonishing information unaided. Although her romantic interlude lasts two years, her lover’s identity remains concealed (readers will have to suppose that she knew who he was, even if they don’t); Adamson, pregnant and abandoned, has an abortion, becomes a patient of Sigmund Freud, marries twice, and has two miscarriages before meeting her third husband, George Adamson, a gamekeeper in Kenya, who brings home three orphaned lion cubs. The many anecdotes comprising this biography are interesting, but without citations, leave readers unsettled; what is the possible source for Adamson’s dramatic death scene following a confrontation with a disgruntled ex-employee? “Blood seeped from her, but she felt no regrets. She had always chosen risk over safety. She would not, even now, be victim to fear.” (bibliography, index) (Biography. 12-14)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-15-201368-7
Page count: 118pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1999