The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden – Jonas Jonasson

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The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden – Jonas Jonasson Empty The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden – Jonas Jonasson

Post by Graham on Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:42 pm

This book is a delight from start to finish, from the second we meet Nombeko, underage sanitation assistant in Soweto and daughter of a paint thinner addicted mother, until a lifetime later she greets, as an equal, the president of China. In the same picaresque fashion as ‘The Hundred-Year-Old Man ...’ it interweaves real-life characters and events with the story of a disadvantaged heroine who overcomes a lifetime of obstacles, bizarre events and comedic situations with humour and an optimistic view of humanity.

Jonasson’s style is on the naïve side but unlike say McCall Smith it retains a biting edge. There is no translator credited and if Mr Jonasson has written the English himself then he has made a superb job of it. Every idiom and metaphor is spot on. The story takes in Nombeko’s virtual enslavement in South Africa’s nuclear weapons facility when she is convicted of being run over by a drunken white engineer. Here she outsmarts two murderous Mossad agents and escapes to Sweden with the help of three young Chinese women, fellow inmates who specialise in the manufacture of genuine Han dynasty porcelain horses. It takes in her involvement with the inept revolutionaries Holger and Celestine and a slowly maturing romance with Holger’s twin also called Holger. Jonasson has a genius for developing the back stories of everyone, including real kings and presidents, in a succinct and lively fashion that makes sense not just of this story but the gamut of modern history. In the end everyone gets their just deserts, but no humans are permanently harmed, with the possible exception of a Mossad agent, and the book could easily be gifted to a young adult.

When I finished it I was so impressed I immediately got on to Amazon and ordered Jonasson’s ‘Hitman Anders And The Meaning Of It All.’


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