First I want to stress this book is for older teens (16+) and adults. It is not for children or younger teens. It covers some very serious adult topics and themes.
Exile is the first of a trilogy by a very popular Danish author that is now being translated into English. Exile follows the life of Samantha, powerfully depicting her life in Tanzania. As she moved there with her parents when she was 3, this is the only country she has ever known. Many of the ex-pat children there are in the same position, it’s hard for them to imagine a life not in Tanzania, but at the same time: they are not Tanzanian. The struggles they have coming to terms with this become clear and are very well depicted in the novel.
The novel follows Samantha from the age of 15 through to the age of 18, covering her life at boarding school, at parties and her experiences with friends and boys. This is against a backdrop of having an alcoholic mother and a father who is former S.A.S and acts now as a mercenary.
It took a few pages to really get into this but after that I was hooked. A lot is going on but it doesn’t feel overwhelming, the writing is clear and vivid, easily drawing you into the world being depicted. The translation is solid, the text hard hitting and gritty. It’s a fantastic book; the themes are difficult and hard hitting but somehow vivid and powerful.
The author sadly died in 2008 aged only 40. His acclaimed novel Nordkraft (Northern Powers) was a bestseller and is also available in English translation. More information can be found at the Danish Literary Magazine.
Review by Alexandra.
- Publisher: MACLEHOSE PRESS (27 Oct 2011)
- ISBN-10: 0857050591
- ISBN-13: 978-0857050595