Written with the same light-hearted satirical voice as Jonas Jonasson’s bestselling debut novel, ‘The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared’, ‘The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden’ is another picaresque tale of how one person’s actions can have far-reaching – even global – consequences.
On June 14th, 2007, the King and Prime Minister of Sweden went missing from a gala banquet at the Royal Castle. Later it was said that both had fallen ill: the truth is different. The 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, from alcohol, or just from 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 story merges with, then diverges from reality. South Africa developed six nuclear missiles in the 1980s, then voluntarily dismantled them in 1994. This is a story about 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 and the most terrifying secret service in the world. She ends up in Sweden, which has transformed into a nuclear nation, and the fate of the world now lies in Nombeko’s hands.
Jonasson introduces us to a whole 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, and the Swedish King and 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.
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Jonas Jonasson was a journalist for the Expressen newspaper for many years. He became a media consultant and later on set up a company producing sports and events for Swedish television. He sold his company and moved abroad to work on his first novel. Jonasson now lives on the Swedish island Gotland in the Baltic Sea.
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