Chasing Tarzan by Catherine Forster Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Catherine Forster takes readers on an emotional journey through a turbulent childhood and the pursuit of a new beginning in her book “Chasing Tarzan”.


The Synopsis

In the 1960s, a relentless school bully makes Catherine’s life a living hell. She retreats inward, relying on a rich fantasy life––swinging through the jungle wrapped in Tarzan’s protective arms––and fervent prayers to a God she does not trust. She fasts until she feels faint, she ties a rough rope around her waist as penance, hoping God will see her worthy of His help.

As the second of eight children, Catherine is Mommy’s little helper, and like Mommy, Catherine is overwhelmed. The bullying and the adult responsibilities together foment her anger. She starts smacking her siblings, and becomes her younger sister’s nemesis. Spooked by who she is becoming, Catherine vows to escape for real, before she hurts someone—or herself.

Catherine finds salvation in a high school exchange program: new town, new school, new family, new persona. A passport celebrity. In New Zealand, nobody knows her history or her fears. Except for her Kiwi “mum,” who sees through Catherine’s façade and pulls her out from her inner safe-house.

Exposed, her sense of self implodes. Catherine must finally rethink who she is.

The Review

This was both a heartbreaking and inspiring read all at once. The author’s story truly held an emotional depth that so many readers are going to be able to relate to, and the authenticity for which the author writes captures the intensity of the author’s experiences growing up that led to her behavior and struggles to go into the exchange program. 

The imagery and tone the author struck early on in the book were so passionate and heartfelt and highlighted the anxiety and hardships that the author endured early in life. The themes were the heart of this narrative, as the exploration of the impact bullies has on a child, the cost of trauma on our outlook on life, and the need for changes in our lives to thrive and grow all played a pivotal role in the author’s story.

The Verdict

A moving and captivating coming-of-age meets memoir narrative, author Catherine Forster’s “Chasing Tarzan” is a must-read book filled with emotional storytelling, thoughtful attention to themes, and an honesty that cannot be replicated. The relatability that this story has will compel readers to dive into the story, while the travel and foreign exchange program aspect of the book will have readers invested as the author’s journey continues. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Purchase a copy of Chasing Tarzan on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also add this to your GoodReads reading list.


About the Author

Catherine Forster honed her powers of observation early on, and later applied them to artistic endeavors. Although it didn’t happen overnight, she discovered that seeing and hearing a bit more than the average person can be beneficial. As an artist, her work has exhibited in museums and galleries across the United States and abroad. Her experimental films have won accolades and awards in more than thirty international film festivals, from Sao Paulo to Berlin, Los Angeles to Rome, London to Romania. Through her work, she explores the dynamics of girlhood, notions of identity, and the role technology plays in our relationship with nature.

In her capacity as an independent curator, she founded LiveBox, an eight-year project that introduced new media arts to communities at a time when few new what media arts was. For the past four years she has been a member of the curatorial team for the Experiments In Cinema Film Festival held annually in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She received a Masters of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a Masters of Business from the London Business School, and a fellowship in writing from the Vermont Studio Center. She is also included in the Brooklyn Art Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.

You can follow her on her website as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Blog Tour Calendar

October 24th @ The Muffin

Join us as we celebrate the launch of Chasing Tarzan by Catherine Forster. We’ll be interviewing the author, sharing information about the book, and hosting a giveaway.

October 25th @ Pages and Paws

Join the Pages and Paws blog and read the review of Chasing Tarzan by Catherine Forster.

October 25th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews & Interviews

Join Lisa as she interviews author Catherine Forster about her book Chasing Tarzan.

October 26th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony’s page and read his review of Chasing Tarzan by Catherine Forster.

October 27th @ Chapter Break

Join Julie as she shares a guest post by Catherine Forster about the role of imagination when children suffer torment.

October 30th @ Rockin Book Reviews

Join Lu Ann as she reviews Chasing Tarzan by Catherine Forster.

November 2nd @ The Mommies Review

Join Glenda as she reviews Chasing Tarzan by Catherine Forster and hosts a giveaway on her blog.

November 3rd @ Sioux’s Page

Visit Sioux’s blog as she reads and reviews Chasing Tarzan by Catherine Forster.

November 4th @ The Faerie Review

Join Lily as she reviews Chasing Tarzan by Catherine Forster.

November 5th @ Jill Sheets Blog

Jill interviews Catherine Forster about her memoir Chasing Tarzan.

November 7th @ Clueless Gent

Join Michael as he reviews Chasing Tarzan by Catherine Forster.

November 10th @ Word Magic

Come by Fiona’s blog and read a guest post about the mother-daughter relationship in all its complexities.

November 12th @ Just Katherine

Jamie shares her thoughts about Chasing Tarzan by Catherine Forster.

November 13th @ Writer Advice

Catherine Forster shares a guest post about how her idea for her memoir came to be and how she turned it into a novel.

November 15th @ Choices

Madeline shares a guest post by Catherine Forster about the long-term effects of bullying.

November 17th @ All the Ups and Downs

Join Heather as she features a guest post by Catherine Forster about the role of adults and how they can be the potential savior for the wounded child.

November 19th @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion

Join Linda as she interviews author Catherine Forster about her book Chasing Tarzan.

November 19th @ Life According to Jamie

Jamie shares her thoughts about Chasing Tarzan by Catherine Forster.


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