The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden
An utterly delightful read, Jonas Jonasson's The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden is the highly improbable tale of a young South African girl who ends up in Sweden saving the King's life in her forties. The protagonist, Nombeko Mayeki, is a stunningly intelligent girl who finds her way into diamonds worth millions, a nuclear facility in South Africa, then Sweden where she saves the King's life. You sort of have to suspend all your disbelief as you read. I found it a bit weird when real historical figures (like former President Hu Jintao of China) became pivotal characters. But I guess when the entire plot revolves around the King of Sweden, and the author decided to use the actual King of Sweden, real figures have to come into play. This proved challenging at times, particularly the plot revolving around the father of the two identical twins both named Holger. I read Jonasson's novel waiting for a flight, and on a flight, so it was the perfect distraction from the annoyances of travel. It checked off the boxes: it took me to another world, the plot moved at a rapid pace, and I found the protagonist sympathetic. Nothing too literate or too fancy to be found in this novel. It was a fun, fast-moving read in an unrealistic world full of diamonds, nuclear weapons, and a dash of world history.