Must Read Quotient 75%
Difficulty 10%
Educational Value 50%
Snooze Factor 15%
Character Development 70%

Must Read Quotient—Overall value to an expat.
Difficulty—Amount of brain power needed to power through the book.
Educational Value—Level of contribution to your Panama education.
Snooze Factor—Likelihood of falling asleep while reading.
Character Development—Ability to connect with the book’s characters.

Highlights from Seducing the Spirits

  • This is a fictional novel written by anthropologist Louise Young who spent nearly two decades working with the Kuna people living on the San Blas Islands.
  • The main character, Jenny Dunfrey, is a grad student sent to one of the remote islands to study a harpy eagle nest. She is the only white person living on the island.
  • Jenny is given two directives regarding her interaction with the Kunas—she must attend their weekly town hall meetings and, by no means, is she to “piss off the natives.”
  • This book is less about the harpy eagle and more about Jenny’s relationships with various Kuna tribe members, a modern day pirate, and an unstable missionary.
  • Island life is slow, the weekly town meetings are boring, there’s only so much you can say about eagles nesting in a tree, and Jenny is in her mid-20s, so much of the story is dedicated to her relationships with several local and visiting men.
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