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A Treacherous Paradise
     

A Treacherous Paradise

3.6 17
by Henning Mankell, Laurie Thompson (Translator)
 

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From the internationally acclaimed author of the Kurt Wallander crime novels, a powerful stand-alone novel set in early-twentieth-century Sweden and Mozambique, whose vividly drawn female protagonist is awoken from her naïveté by her exposure to racism and by her own unexpected inner strengths.

Cold and poverty define Hanna Renström’s

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A Treacherous Paradise 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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Anna_Sophie More than 1 year ago
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.
JupFL_reader More than 1 year ago
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.
SUEHAV More than 1 year ago
Not a fan of this book. Found myself skipping long paragraphs. The Africa "stuff" really gets bogged down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tried reading free sample but too many pages missing. Will not buy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was ok...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boo