Synopses & Reviews
In 2005, Vanessa Woods accepted a marriage proposal from a man she barely knew and agreed to join him on a research trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country reeling from a brutal decade-long war that had claimed the lives of millions. Settling in at a bonobo sanctuary in Congo's capital, Vanessa and her fiancé entered the world of a rare ape with whom we share 98.7 percent of our DNA. She soon discovered that many of the inhabitants of the sanctuary—ape and human alike—are refugees from unspeakable violence, yet bonobos live in a peaceful society in which females are in charge, war is nonexistent, and sex is as common and friendly as a handshake.
A fascinating memoir of hope and adventure, Bonobo Handshake traces Woods's self-discovery as she finds herself falling deeply in love with her husband, the apes, and her new surroundings while probing life's greatest question: What ultimately makes us human? Courageous and extraordinary, this true story of revelation and transformation in a fragile corner of Africa is about looking past the differences between animals and ourselves, and finding in them the same extraordinary courage and will to survive. For Vanessa, it is about finding her own path as a writer and scientist, falling in love, and finding a home.
"Don't think that this is just a book about apes. It's a love story, an adventure story, and a political education about a country that has seen more tragedy and inhumanity than you can imagine." ---Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold's Ghost
"Eyre transforms herself into the writer.... Woods's humorous stories, mixed with details of her scientific work, make for an audiobook that never becomes dull." ---AudioFile
A young woman follows her fiancé to war-torn Congo to study extremely endangered bonobo apes—who teach her a new truth about love and belonging.
About the Author
Vanessa Woods is a research scientist, journalist, and author of children's books. A member of the Hominoid Psychology Research Group, her first book is It's Every Monkey for Themselves.Justine Eyre is a classically trained actress who has narrated over three hundred audiobooks. With a prestigious Audie Award and four AudioFile Earphones Awards under her belt, Justine is multilingual and is known for her great facility with accents.