An adventure story and a love story set in the heart of the Amazonian jungle
Whitaker makes excellent use of Jean's narrative as well as of his correspondence, the journals written by four members of the expedition and the testimonies gathered in 1770 by the Peruvian authorities. As he attempts to integrate these elements, it's hard to know where the book's center lies -- the expedition itself? Jean's difficult decades alone? Isabel's dangerous journey? -- or how to adjust to the different tones in which we hear these stories. Then again, this is a far from insurmountable problem: each element of The Mapmaker's Wife offers its own distinctive pleasures.