Customer Reviews for

A Treacherous Paradise

Average Rating 3.5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2014

    Highly recommended - a must for those who are concerned about our racial and social justice issues.

    I'm a big fan of this author. I find any and all of his books are important for our times. He takes on social justice issues that are relevant.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    In an Afterward, the author states that he generally writes his

    In an Afterward, the author states that he generally writes his stories based on a truth. In this case the true story is extremely fragmentary, and consequently is “therefore based on the little we know, and all that we don’t know.” It is the story of a poor young Swedish woman, Hanna Renstrom, who left her homeland in 1905 as a ship’s cook and jumped ship on what was then Portuguese East Africa (now Mozambique). She was married on board to the third mate, who died shortly later. She rented a room in what she thought was a hotel, but really was a brothel, whose owner eventually fell in love with her and married her. That marriage also was short-lived, and Hanna inherited ownership of the very profitable brothel and her husband’s extensive wealth. Not bad for a young woman with no education, who presumably taught herself to read and spoke no Portuguese (but carried a Portuguese dictionary with her from Sweden).

    So much for the introduction. What follows is an extraordinary tale of personal development which staggers the mind. From an impoverished, illiterate housemaid in Sweden, Hanna becomes a wise, sensitive person, keen on righting the wrongs of colonial Africa and the abuse of the indigenous black population, as unlikely as that may seem to the critical eye. But it gives Mr. Mankell the platform he requires to rail against the racism rampant throughout the colony and its white ruling class.

    The story is told in simple language, recounting the times through Hanna’s innocent eyes. Certainly the author has intimate knowledge of the land about which he writes, since he divides the year between Africa and Sweden. The novel is an excellent example of Mr. Mankell’s ability not only to portray characters, but to fully develop them progressively. Recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 16, 2013

    Not a fan of this book. Found myself skipping long paragraphs. T

    Not a fan of this book. Found myself skipping long paragraphs. The Africa "stuff" really gets bogged down.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2013

    A feminine saga.

    Mankell creates a character so feminine in her weakness, stoic acceptance and inner strength that many women may recognize themselves at different stages in life. Though this story covers only a short period of time in "Hannah's" history the author unfolds her inner being like a flower opening. A thinkers novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2013

    Love

    Boo

    1 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2014

    I did not care for this book. There are so many repetitive thoug

    I did not care for this book. There are so many repetitive thoughts, actions, and even dialogue that it makes the plot trudge along painfully. the main character seems to have schizophrenia because her character traits are all over the place; one minute she's an innocent, the next she's as brutal as the people she proclaims to detest. If you have been brought up reading Mankell's Wallander, you will find making the transition to this book quite difficult.

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  • Posted October 18, 2013

    Great Read

    This book is a great story and an amazing read for fans of Henning Mankell. It is bittersweet, disturbing and uplifting at various points. You have to be ready for an emotional ride.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2013

    Missing pages

    Tried reading free sample but too many pages missing. Will not buy it.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    It was ok...

    It was ok...

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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