When Vanessa Woods’ heart was broken, she did what any woman would do – and took off for Costa Rica. Okay, perhaps not every woman would do that, but Vanessa did. She took a job as a research assistant, observing capuchin monkeys in the Costa Rican jungles. Having worked in television before, she also had a contract with the Disney Channel to film animal documentaries on her days off.
Costa Rica, though, had surprises in store for Vanessa. Instead of recovering from her break up, she found herself falling for another man, nearly dying at least twice, and seemingly moving from crisis to crisis. Her time in Costa Rica had more twists and turns than a soap opera, but she lived to tell the tale.
It’s Every Monkey for Themselves is Woods’ account of her year – the friends (and enemies) she made and the challenges she faced, as well as her experiences with the monkeys, whose lives also seemed to play out like a twisted soap opera – with murder, infighting, sex, births and more. It is an intriguing read, with Woods’ honesty and humour a very readable blend.
It’s Every Monkey for Themselves, by Vanessa Woods
Allen & Unwin, 2007