As a child, Marian Lindberg’s favorite bedtime story was her father’s tale of his stepfather, the greater adventurer Walter Lindberg, who braved the Amazon jungle in search of diamonds and gold, only to be eaten by cannibals — or murdered by his business partners. It wasn’t clear which ending was true, because Walter’s body was never found.
As Marian grew older, she began to detect a curious lack of evidence to corroborate the legend. Marian’s parents were surprisingly tight-lipped about other aspects of their past, leaving gaping holes in her understanding of the family history. After working as a journalist and lawyer, Marian endeavored to fact-check her own bedtime story and unraveled a character more complicated than she could have imagined. Her father had never known the truth, but now the daughter knew the family secret, including Walter’s real role in Brazil.
When Marian followed the paper trail to Brazil, she found herself enveloped by the extraordinary land and people as Walter must have been. Perhaps the questions about her family’s mysterious past weren’t best answered by another document, but by experiencing the enchantment of Brazil firsthand.
Sharply observant, wrought with honesty, and sweeping in its ambitions, The End of the Rainy Season is a powerful examination of identity and human relationships, with nature and between one another.
Marian Lindberg has written a captivating memoir that transports us to many worlds and many landscapes, both physical and emotional. I was in thrall, page after page, awaiting the answers to mysteries past and present. A wise tour guide, Lindberg has given us a thriller, a love story, a travel narrative, and more. Mostly she has given us a beautiful testament to human tenacity, curiosity, courage, and kindness.
An adventure story, a family saga, an astonishing journey of discovery and identity: The End of the Rainy Season is like a Russian nesting doll, each part of the story opening to an even bigger surprise. A well-researched, gripping story written with style and grace.
In the end, many questions about the past will never be answered with any certainty, which leads to bigger questions: How do we move forward when our understanding is provisional? How do we make choices based on unstable knowledge? Ms. Lindberg’s big, ambitious book traces a path through this disarray, and in doing so she provides a map for the many migrations we face in the 21st century.
Earnest . . . Lindberg’s story awards patient, adventurous readers.
A beautifully written, moving, and distinct work of one woman’s attempt to understand her past.
Embarking on her own dangerous odyssey into the heart of the Amazon, [Lindberg] uncovers some startling truths about both herself and her family’s twisted past. This intriguing journey of self-discovery reads as an exotic travel memoir as well.
Enthralling, unbelievable, and at times heartbreaking, Lindberg’s search for the truth behind a decades-old family tale that her step-grandfather was killed and eaten by cannibals in the Amazon is one that shouldn’t be bypassed . . . It’s a compelling and enjoyable read.