Blue LongingElisabet Nemert
Author sold over 240,000 copies in Sweden
Elisabet Nemert, Sweden’s most beloved author of historical women’s fiction, returns with an epic, moving story of an unlikely and enduring friendship between two survivors brought together by fate.
Two girls, Naomi and Pia, are born on the same day in February 1950: Naomi in Kano, Nigeria, and Pia in Stockholm, Sweden. Naomi is abandoned by her family and taken in by Jorinda, who knows everything about healing herbs and gives Naomi a childhood on the savannah, where the wild beasts become her best friends. Pia is born into the wealthy, Swedish social-welfare state, but a childhood in an abusive home leaves her deeply scarred.
When Jorinda is murdered, Naomi’s life is upturned and she is placed into an orphanage. A visiting Swedish surgeon, Birgitta Kronwall, notices how Naomi is ostracized for her cleft lip – regarded as a mark of the devil – and adopts Naomi to bring her back to Sweden with her; a Sweden where people of colour were rarely seen at the time. It is at a very white, suburban school in Stockholm that Naomi and Pia meet and from that moment on, they become inseparable.
In a time when the horrors of the Second World War still feel fresh but the Sixties counter-culture is rapidly sweeping in with a new kind of freedom, Naomi and Pia find their unpredictable lives filled with grief and joy, drama and love… all bound up in their enduring friendship. BLUE LONGING is a spellbinding story about the equal rights of men and women of all colours and stations in life, in a rapidly changing world. A story with emotional depth that unfolds across the dramatic post-war decades, from Nigeria to Sweden, London and New York City, with echoes of Half of a Yellow Sun.
Czech: Grada Publishing