Today, I am writing about a book, not one which I have bound myself, but a novel by Henning Mankell. My first book of him was a crime fiction with Kurt Wallander…what else?! Meanwhile, crime fiction and thrillers are too exciting for me, can’t sleep afterwards. But Henning Mankell has also written other novels, The Shadow Girls for example.
Tea-Bag flew from Africa to Schweden, by a boot across the Mediterranean Sea…it capsized…she survived…made it to refugee camp….and eventually ended in Sweden. I had chosen this book out of my stash of unread books by chance…haven’t read the blurb…and thought it wouldbe about Africa, as some of Mankell’s novels are set there. He caught me already with the first lines – didn’t I want to read something less exciting – …it was about refugees…in a refugee camp…it was so late-breaking…so realistic. Realistic for me, as I have no idea how the life and thoughts of a refugee are. What an coincidence that I have picked exactly this book out of my stash.
Next to the line of action about Tea-Bag and her girl-friends is a second one about the author Jesper Humlin. The parts about Tea-Bag and her girl-friends, how they live in the underground, with stolen mobile phone, stolen identities, and the wish to become an author, were more interesting for me. Maybe because it was so up-to-date and seemed to be realistic. The parts about Jesper Humlin were rather funny…he is more the type of an underestimated poet, who should better write crime fiction according to his publisher in order to increase editions. His girl-friend would like to get babies, but he is “not yet at that point”, his stock transactions are going down thanks to his dubious financial consultant, and then there is also his mother, who still has him under control, though being adult since years. For me he is a type of underdog, an unworldly mother’s boy who is not able to manage his life. Both lines of action come together and get tangled. Tea-Bag and her girl-friends get taught by Jesper Humlin to become an author…this
combination leads to strange and tricky situations.
Though it is fiction, the story was very realistic for me. So far, I have not met a refugee in person, who just arrived in Europe to start a better life…since having read the book, I more and more wish to do something else than “just” donating some money…until now, I am blocked by my weaker self, to get up and informed what exactly I could do…
Do you know this book? How did you like it?
Are you interested in similar posts, introducing a book which I liked, every now and then? Or are you not so much into books? Happy to hear about your thoughts.