Monday, August 12, 2013

Treacherous paradise by Henning Mankell

I've read Mankell before, a great author of crime novels.  This book is totally different.  Hanna Renstrom has had a very simple childhood in northern Sweden.  in 1904 at age 19 she boards a ship for Australia in the hope of a better life.  She weds twice, and is widowed twice.  The second husband left her a rich widow, and the owner of a brothel in Portuguese East Africa.  She is isolated by her profession, her gender, and race.

 This story is based on tax records found in Lourene Marques, East Africa,  where a Swedish woman  paid an "impressive amount" of tax.
The tax records show a Swedish woman appearing as the brothel owner, then after a few years, not on the tax roles. - this was the basis for this fictional account.  Who was she, where did she come from, where did she go?   The fictional account makes for a very interesting story, very different from other Mankell novels.

No comments:

Post a Comment