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Book Review: The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

I don’t know what I expected when I started The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden, but what I got wasn’t it.

Author Jonas Jonasson’s writing style keeps the reader at a distance from the characters, using minimal dialogue or even names. I was strangely drawn in, nonetheless.

The whole thing was much like Forrest Gump in its absurd situations, that only worked for Forrest, I think, because he was mentally handicapped and of pure heart. He had no idea what he went through was phenomenal.

Here, we have an exceptionally intelligent woman who is able to pull off the most astounding things because she can hide her intellect behind the face of a black woman who grew up cleaning latrines. This enabled her to be invisible. No one in the time frame story could fathom a person like the young South African, Nombeko.

While many of the events in the story challenge common sense, it works because Nombeko is so understated. Nothing much rattles her; she uses logic as she maneuvers among crazy people and emotional basket cases. Her calm manner and dry sense of humor enabled me to swallow it all.

I thoroughly enjoyed the great detail of actual world events starting in the 1960s to the present. Jonasson is either brilliant, a great researcher, or both.

While this book is certainly unusual—quirky really—I enjoyed it.

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