cover image Into the Jungle

Into the Jungle

Erica Ferencik. Scout, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-1-5011-6892-5

When the teaching job that lures scrappy 19-year-old foster care survivor Lily Bushwold, the narrator of this ferocious fever dream of a thriller from Ferencik (The River at Night), from Boston to Cochabamba, Bolivia, falls through, she decides to stay on. In Cochabamba, Lily falls hard for handsome mechanic Omar, and then, through the stories he tells, for the remote Amazonian jungle where his clan has lived for seven generations. So when Omar’s brother Panchito arrives from Ayachero, the tiny village Omar left years earlier, to ask Omar to return to lead the hunt for the jaguar that has killed their four-year-old nephew, Lily begs to go with him—pythons, tarantulas, and menacing neighboring Tatinga tribe be damned. And that’s not the half of it, Lily discovers once in Ayachero. Despite Lily’s fluent Spanish, Omar’s family and friends are none too welcoming to a gringa lacking any discernible skills to help a struggling community squeezed between ruthless poachers and the Tatinga. Ferencik delivers an alternately terrifying and exhilarating tale. Agent: Erin Harris, Folio Literary Management. (May)