T'ongil The Thirst for Love
Intriguing Read …… Recommended………. 4
When a little girl topples into
the tiger pit at the zoo where he works Ainsley Revere leaps
in to save the small child. Just before he rescues the little
girl he watches as a feather floats down to land near her. The
only reason Ainsley gains success is because Nicté the
chief tiger intervenes with her siblings and allows him the child.
Ainsley who was known as Falling Feather was reared by his Grandfather
who taught him the lasting beliefs of his native people. Ainsley's
being is intertwined with a life he never realized existed. The
country where he lives is harsh, little girls in orphanage are
sold into bondage and expected to repay their benefactor. When
a younger man he first interned with the big cats. His job was
to care for Rose a jaguar of singular beauty and cunning. As
an adult Ainsley is not only an authority on large cats, but
he appears to have what some consider to be a mystical connection
animals. It was Rose who caused the scars Ainsley wore over the
length of his back. One little girl sold to the 'benefactor'
was also named Rose.
Writer Winter has produced a
singularly intriguing work in his narrative T'ongil. The account
is a tad hard to follow if the reader is not careful. This is
not a book to scan rapidly and move on flipping page after page.
Rather it is a work to ready slowly, savoring each paragraph.
T'ongil weaves a descriptive tapestry from Korean bordello to
Native American Falling Feather and back to Ainsley once again.
Ainsley, the Tiger Man, dreams a dream of Nicté more real
than might be imagined. This is not just a 'story.' It is a touching
collection of tales brought together into a single strand. The
tale woven around the two little girls who were each raised to
believe she was alone, the private man who finally allows another
into his heart and the deep, non-traditional love story between
an introspective Native American man and a Korean woman is presented
in poetic style through enigmatical language.
The poignant tale of the Roses,
Ainsley and his beloved cats is one sure to please those who
are looking for something a little different to read slowly and
reflectively on a chilly winter afternoon.
I enjoyed the read. The book
itself is beautiful with a delicate cover presentation and elegant
Korean writing added to each chapter heading.