By Henning Mankell

ISBN-10: 0440240425

ISBN-13: 9780440240426

This poignant novel explores how a unilateral determination can swap a life.Two issues are difficult for Joel Gustafson to deal with: now not figuring out why, and never with the ability to do something approximately it. Joel’s father used to be a sailor who lived by way of the ocean. Joel’s mom as soon as lived with them. Joel’s father deserted the ocean. Joel’s mom deserted Joel and his father. whereas searching his window one evening, Joel sees a lonely puppy in the street. Joel spots the animal back and starts off sneaking out evening after evening, looking for it. in the course of those nocturnal outings, Joel discovers facets of existence he hasn't ever imagined. after which one evening he discovers that his father’s mattress, too, is empty.As Joel investigates his father’s mysterious absences and maintains to look for the puppy, he discovers his personal internal power and learns approximately grownup disappointments and wishes.

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Sample text

Miss Nederström doesn't like her pupils arriving late. If you do, you have to stand up and explain why. And then there's the risk of Otto marching up to you at break asking why your mother didn't wake you up in time. He takes a short cut along the white paths through the churchyard, taking a quick look round to see if there are any new graves. As usual he jumps over a black headstone where it says 'The Family Grave of Nils Wiberg, Farmer of this Parish', but it's icy underneath the snow today and he slips and hurts his bottom.

It's almost stopped snowing. He carries the bike down the steps, switches on the dynamo on the front wheel, then pedals off. He turns into Norra Vägen, where the sanded road surface hasn't yet been covered in newly-fallen snow. And he keeps on going. When he gets to the Hedevägen crossroads he stops and listens for traffic, but all is quiet and he sets off again. It's hard not to think. Not to be scared stiff of what he's doing. I've become a Petty Thief, he thinks as he climbs the hill leading to the railway station.

Sometimes he's the captain of the ship, sometimes it's his father. They always very nearly capsize but manage to make their way through the submerged rocks and sandbanks in the end. It's a good dream because he can think up lots of different endings. But sometimes when he's in a bad mood he allows the ship to sink and the figurehead is buried two thousand fathoms deep. The exhausted crew manage to scramble onto a desert island, but he lets Jenny, his mother, disappear for ever at the bottom of the sea.

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A Bridge to the Stars by Henning Mankell


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