The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson
From the author of The
100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared comes a
picaresque tale of how one person's actions can have far-reaching-even
global-consequences On June 14, 2007, the king and the prime minister of
Sweden went missing from a gala banquet at the royal castle. Later it
was said that both had fallen ill, but the truth is different.
real story starts much earlier, in 1961, with the birth of Nombeko
Mayeki in a shack in Soweto. Nombeko was fated to grow up fast and die
early in her poverty-stricken township, be it from drugs, alcohol, or
just plain despair. But Nombeko takes a different path. She finds work
as a housecleaner and eventually makes her way up to the position of
chief advisor, at the helm of one of the world's most secret projects.
Here is where the tale merges with then diverges from reality. South
Africa developed six nuclear missiles in the 1980s, then voluntarily
dismantled them in 1994.
This is the story of the seventh
missile, the one that was never supposed to have existed. Nombeko Mayeki
knows too much about it, and now she's on the run from both the South
African justice system and the most terrifying secret service in the
world. The fate of the planet now lies in Nombeko's hands. Jonasson
introduces us to a cast of eccentrics: a nerve-damaged American Vietnam
deserter, twin brothers who are officially only one person, three
careless Chinese girls, an angry young woman, a potato-growing baroness,
the Swedish king and the prime minister. Quirky and utterly unique, The
Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden is a charming and humorous account of
one young woman's unlikely adventure.
I had so much fun reading this book -- and literally laughed out loud. I love how Jonasson tells stories, they are so unlikely and rambly, and there are different threads, but at the same time, everything comes together in the craziest of ways. He also peppers his stories with interesting observations of life and how people act and politics. He certainly doesn't shy away from big issues.
The characters are quirky and likable and the writing is engaging. I raced through this book, eager to see where all of the crazy scenarios would lead.