A Treacherous Paradise

A Treacherous Paradise

Large Print - 2013
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Cold and poverty define Hanna Renstrom's childhood in remote northern Sweden, and in 1905, at nineteen, she boards a ship for Australia in hope of a better life. But none of her hopes--or fears--prepares her for the life she will lead. After two brief marriages, she finds herself a widow twice over, and the owner of a bordello in Portuguese East Africa, a world where colonialism and white supremacy rule, where she is isolated within society by her profession and her sex, and, among the bordello's black prostitutes, by her color. As Hanna's story unfurls over the next several years, we watch her in this "treacherous paradise," as she wrestles with a constant, wrenching loneliness and with the racism she's meant to unthinkingly adopt. And as her life becomes increasingly intertwined with the prostitutes, she moves inexorably toward the moment when she will make a decision that defies every expectation society has of her, and, more important, those she has of herself.
Publisher: [New York] : Random House Large Print, ©2013
Edition: Large print ed
ISBN: 9780804120982
Branch Call Number: LP F Man
Additional Contributors: Thompson, Laurie 1938-


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Nov 26, 2017

I enjoyed this story - except for one unexplained event that happens near the end. (not concerning hanna herself but someone else).

May 17, 2017

I enjoyed reading this novel. However I don't consider Mozambique to be a paradise, as the author notes in his title!

Apr 11, 2017

i liked this book alot, one reason, short chapters. The character was an ordinary person who was thrown into an extraordinary life. She was believable to me as she navigated through the changes and stayed true to herself. We were exposed to the county through her eyes.
The end was far fetched but so is life.
I like Mankell's books that are not mysteries. Chronicle of the Winds left me thinking for days.

Aug 01, 2015

*Spoiler* On the surface this book should have been a page turner with unknown paths ahead of the main character, settings like brothels and prisons and events like riots and murders but it just wasn't. I think because the main character came off so stoic and flat, that the book did as well. I didn't feel the risk or pain in the situations.

Sep 04, 2014

When you think of Mankell you think of Wallander, not Hanna Lundmark and her voyage in Africa and the plight of the Blacks. All in all a strange and depressive story. The only bright spot was the photo session, but again they were told (the prostitutes) NOT to smile. And in the end she just vanishes into thin air. A story hard to comprehend. The injustice is just too much to take.

aisha65 Aug 16, 2014

I really enjoy this author, although I love the Wallender series of his.

Jun 04, 2014

This book from Swedish crime novel writer Henning Mankell chronicles the journey of a Swedish woman to Africa back in the 1900's. Much was focused on the racial tension between the colonial whites and the local blacks, and the woman's desire to 'do the right thing'. Unfortunately, I find the story a bit slow and not engaging enough.

Feb 26, 2014

A swedish miss, Hanna Renstrom, aka, Hana Lundmark, aka, Hana Vaz aka, Ana Branca, aka, Hana Negra as created in the story, is liken to a supposed real like swedish women in both moved from Sweden to Portgese East Africa as both were to have championed resolution of racism, salvery, use and abuse of blacks and in particular blacks by whites, and operated one of the most exclusive brothels in a town called Lourenco Marques. Hanna, the story's character, in two years, sails abroad, buries 2 hus- bands, inherits an operates the brothel via the second husband's death and which opens her eyes to the aforementioned issue of inequality among blacks and whites in that town. Of the many questions unanswered are who is Hana, why one cause she chose so important, and what's the reason Henning Mankell wrote and wasted time of his readers on this tale.

d2013 Dec 28, 2013

Based on a true story, this international best seller reads well and flows from chapter to chapter. Good!

Nov 17, 2013

Henning Mankell at his worst. Don't waste your time.

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