The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Jonasson, who delighted us with The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, gives us another glorious romp. It’s a gallop through the life of Nombeko Mayeki—a fourteen-year-old latrine cleaner in Soweto, South Africa—who, because of her intelligence and her agile wit, ends up in Sweden with an unregistered nuclear missile, a twin who doesn’t officially exist, his brother, an idiot, and a sampling of weird and incompetent characters. As with its predecessor, this novel is wickedly absurd. ~ Ann

— From Staff Favorites 2014


Jonas Jonasson's picaresque tale of how one person's actions can have far-reaching--even global--consequences, written with the same light-hearted satirical voice as his bestselling debut novel, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.

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. 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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062329127
ISBN-10: 006232912X
Publisher: Ecco Press
Publication Date: April 29th, 2014
Pages: 387
Language: English