By Henning Mankell
From the across the world acclaimed writer of the Kurt Wallander crime novels, a strong stand-alone novel set in early-twentieth-century Sweden and Mozambique, whose vividly drawn lady protagonist is awoken from her naïveté via her publicity to racism and by means of her personal unforeseen internal strengths.
chilly and poverty outline Hanna Renström’s adolescence in distant northern Sweden, and in 1904, at nineteen, she forums a boat for Australia in wish of a higher life. yet none of her hopes—or fears—prepares her for the existence she is going to lead. After short marriages either go away her widowed, she reveals herself the landlord of a bordello in Portuguese East Africa, a global the place colonialism and white colonists rule, the place she is remoted inside of white society via her career and her gender, and, one of the bordello’s black prostitutes, by means of her colour. As Hanna’s tale unfurls over the following numerous years during this “treacherous paradise,” she wrestles with a devastating loneliness and with the racism she’s intended to unthinkingly undertake. And as her existence turns into more and more intertwined with the prostitutes’, she strikes inexorably towards the instant whilst she's going to decide that defies all of the expectancies society has of her and, extra vital, these she has of herself.
Gripping in its drama, evocative and searing in its portrait of colonial Africa, A Treacherous Paradise is, at its middle, a deeply relocating tale of a lady who manages to wrench knowledge, empathy, and charm from the main unforgiving circumstances.
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Additional info for A Treacherous Paradise
She looked up at Caitlyn. “Destiny is at work in your life. That which seems random chance is not. You are at the edge of the wheel right now, lost in the chaos of a world that turns at maddening speed, but if you fulfill your destiny, you will journey to the heart of the wheel, where all is motionless and clear. You will journey to the heart. The heart. ” Her eyes widened, and she stared at Caitlyn. ” Caitlyn struggled to make sense of what she was saying. “What is the heart in darkness? And why did you put this card under my pillow right before you died in that car crash?
Her mother flipped over the next card. ” It was the Knight of Cups. An armored knight sitting astride a horse held up a golden goblet, a smile touching his lips. There were wings atop his helmet and on the heels of his feet, and his surcoat was patterned with water and fish. ” Caitlyn asked hopefully. Her mother gave her a mischievous, knowing look. “A guy. ” Caitlyn grinned. ” Her mother smiled, then pointed to the next three cards. ” She turned them all over: the Three of Swords showed a red heart pierced by three swords, with storming rain in the background; the Fool depicted a young man with his eyes on the sky, about to step off the edge of a cliff and into an abyss; and finally, a skeleton in black armor rode a white horse, with the body of a king beneath the horse’s hooves: Death.
She shuddered and turned the page. After several months she’d realized that drawing the Screechers wasn’t making them go away, and to save her own sanity she’d turned her pens and pencils to recording images from her more benign dreams. She thumbed through those pages now, seeing her gradually increasing drawing skill more than the images themselves: hunters chased a dear; a pioneer girl rode a horse; teenagers loafed on a couch. On one page, a man stabbed his friend in a bar; on the facing page, a woman dressed for her wedding.