From the bestselling author of the Kurt Wallander novels: The "haunting and fascinating" tale of a young boy's harrowing odyssey from Africa to Sweden (Booklist). In the 1870s, Hans Bengler arrives in Cape Town from SmAland, Sweden, driven by a singular desire: to discover an insect no one has seen before and name it after himself. But then he impulsively adopts a young San orphan boy whose parents have been killed by European colonists. Christening the boy Daniel, Hans brings him back to Sweden—a quite different specimen than he first contemplated. Daniel is told to call Bengler "Father," and to knock on doors and bow. He continually struggles to understand this strange new land of mud and snow that surrounds and seemingly entraps him. At the same time, he is haunted by visions of his murdered parents calling him home to Africa. Knowing that the only way home is by sea, he decides he must learn to walk on water if he is ever to reclaim his true place in the world. Evocative and sometimes brutal, the novel follows Daniel through a series of tragedies and betrayals that culminate in a shocking act. Henning Mankell, a world-renowned "master of atmosphere," offers this "quiet tragedy" with a ruthless elegance all his own (The Boston Globe).
by Henning Mankell
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