Review: “The Hired Man” by Aminatta Forna

17237713From the publisher:

“Gost is surrounded by mountains and fields of wild flowers. The summer sun burns. The winter brings freezing winds. Beyond the boundaries of the town an old house which has lain empty for years is showing signs of life. One of the windows, glass darkened with dirt, today stands open, and the lively chatter of English voices carries across the fallow fields. Laura and her teenage children have arrived. A short distance away lies the hut of Duro Kolak who lives alone with his two hunting dogs. As he helps Laura with repairs to the old house, they uncover a mosaic beneath the ruined plaster and, in the rising heat of summer, painstakingly restore it. But Gost is not all it seems; conflicts long past still suppurate beneath the scars.”

It’s been a long time since a book so engrossed me that I was kept up past my bedtime to read it. But with The Hired Man, it was effortless. What I liked was the small cast of characters, which allowed each to be richly developed and complicated.

The story alternates between the present and Duro’s past, telling the story of friendships gone wrong and illicit love that developed at precisely the wrong time.

TL;DR: It’s not an elaborate story, but it is beautiful and emotional (I almost cried, and I almost never cry during a book). It would be a great addition to a summer reading list for those who don’t want to read trash!

Amazon | Goodreads

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