Joel is growing up. He is getting interested in girls. Just look at his New Year's resolutions: 1 - to see a naked lady, 2 - to toughen himself up so that he can live to be a hundred, and 3 - to see the sea. They all look pretty impossible for a motherless boy in Northern Sweden. Especially as his sailor dad is keen to drown his sadness in drink, and all the local matrons are narrowly watching the pair of them. And then he saves old Simon from a frozen death in the woods, and Joel becomes a local hero.
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by Henning Mankell
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