From the internationally acclaimed writer of the Kurt Wallander crime novels, a robust stand-alone novel set in early-twentieth-century Sweden and Mozambique, whose vividly drawn feminine protagonist is awoken from her naïveté by her publicity to racism and by her personal sudden interior strengths.
Chilly and poverty outline Hanna Renström’s childhood in distant northern Sweden, and in 1904, at nineteen, she boards a ship for Australia in hope of a greater life. However none of her hopes—or fears—prepares her for the life she’s going to lead. After two transient marriages each go away her widowed, she finds herself the proprietor of a bordello in Portuguese East Africa, a world the place colonialism and white colonists rule, the place she is remoted inside white society by her career and her gender, and, among the many bordello’s black prostitutes, by her shade. As Hanna’s story unfurls over the subsequent a number of years on this “treacherous paradise,” she wrestles with a devastating loneliness and with the racism she’s meant to unthinkingly undertake. And as her life turns into more and more intertwined with the prostitutes’, she strikes inexorably towards the second when she’s going to decide that defies all of the expectations society has of her and, extra necessary, these she has of herself.
Gripping in its drama, evocative and searing in its portrait of colonial Africa, A Treacherous Paradise is, at its coronary heart, a deeply transferring story of a lady who manages to wrench knowledge, empathy, and charm from probably the most unforgiving circumstances.
By Henning Mankell & Laurie Thompson
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