Monday, 12 May 2014

Nine Open Arms

A mysterious house along a road called Sjlammbams Sahara is at the centre of 'Nine Open Arms' by Benny Lindelauf.

'Nine Open Arms' is an extraordinary novel for teens that has been translated to English from Dutch by the acclaimed translator, John Nieuwenhuizen.

A large motherless family move from place to place, their father trying to seek his fortune through various business ventures that remain unsuccessful.

'Fing' is the narrator of the story, and around her orbit circle a family with eccentricities that keep the reader amused and entertained.
Take, for instance, her father's efforts to create a cigar making empire. Many trials and mishap ensue when 'the Dad' purchases  bales of 'ready-to-use filler' from a tobacco grower.
After making five cigars and lighting them, 'the Dad' and Fing's four brothers race out to the garden where they are sick.

The house along Sjlammbams Sahara is hiding many secrets and as the story continues, moving back and forth from the 1930's to the 1860's, its secrets are revealed.

Beautiful, evocative writing and well fleshed out characters.
Highly recommended.

-Ann

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