Now that he's getting older, Joel Gustafson has a lot to consider. His birthday is next month. He'll be fifteen, and he can't stop thinking about the new liberties that come with being fifteen: he'll be allowed to ride a moped, and he'll no longer need to sneak into the cinema to see an adults-only film. And maybe his father will finally agree to leave their small Swedish town and the two of them will become sailors-something Joel has always dreamed of. Joel's life takes a turn, but nothing like he had anticipated. Joel and his father are unexpectedly faced with an aspect of their past and emotional wounds resurface. Can their relationship survive this complex situation, and the very different ways in which they respond?
by Henning Mankell
by Peter Gadol
by Tom Harper
"In the final installment of the Joel Gustafson series, the Swedish Henning Mankell clearly demonstrates his ability to stretch beyond his Inspector Wallander mysteries. Joel has just graduated from high school and is eager to begin life beyond his tiny village. Narrator Francis Greenslade masterfully captures the deep emotion, moving asides, and softly uttered nuances when Joel meets his mother, who abandoned him when he was a small child. But the most bittersweet moments come as Joel cares for his dying father. His and Samuel's last days together, during which they pretend they will be going to sea just as they always planned, are heartbreaking to listen to. The conclusion is beautifully written, with Greenslade's performance the perfect enhancement. S.G.B. (c) AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine"
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