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The Elephant Keepers' Childrenby Peter Hoeg
Synopses & Reviews
From the author of Smilla's Sense of Snow, an epic novel about faith and the magic of everyday life.
Told from the precocious perspective of fourteen-year-old Peter, The Elephant Keepers' Children is about three siblings and how they deal with life alongside their eccentric parents. Peter's father is a vicar, his mother is an artisan, and both are equally and profoundly devout. The family lives on the (fictional) island of Finø, where people of all religious faiths coexist peacefully. Yet, nothing is at it seems.
When Peter's parents suddenly go missing, Peter and his siblings fear the worst — has their parents' relentless quest to boost church attendance finally put them in danger? Told with poignancy and humor, The Elephant Keepers' Children is a fascinating exploration of fundamentalism versus spiritual freedom, the vicissitudes of romantic and familial love, and the triumph of the human spirit.
“A picaresque tale that probes society’s little hypocrisies while offering an original array of characters. At first glance, an utterly fun, absorbing read.” Library Journal
"Told with poignancy and humor, The Elephant Keepers' Children is a fascinating exploration of fundamentalism versus spiritual freedom, the vicissitudes of romantic and familial love, and the triumph of the human spirit" Examiner
"It succeeds in being extremely funny while also wrestling with deeper philosophical questions about the role of religion in society and individual choice." Huffington Post
"This book manages to be both highly entertaining and seriously thought provoking. I must also mention the flawless translation, which allows us to step into the streets of Copenhagen and to enjoy Høeg’s play with words. Peter regales us with tales of his hilarious misdeeds on one page and delves into the true nature of spirituality on the next. I closed this book feeling wiser." Three Percent
"A thriller of sorts this is, but it’s more humorous than frightening, more of a caper than a mystery, and more of a coming-of-age story than a suspense yarn....Under the madcap adventure story Høeg poses serious issues about neglected children, venal church officials, and the paths to intellectual and spiritual freedom." Publishers Weekly
"Part comic teenage adventure story, part intellectual debate, the best-selling Danish author's sixth novel is a shaggy-dog story with a unique vision....Høeg has an endless menu of oddities to stir into his story; whether thriller, fantasy or disuisition on spiritual belief, love and parenting does successfully invent an inexhaustible landscape all its own" Kirkus
"This is the novel of the winter to restore your faith in the magic of human experience." Washington Independent Review of Books
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