October 2010 Indie Next List
“Mankell jumps across genres to give us this haunting and heartbreaking novel of an African boy ripped from his Kalahari desert homeland and taken to Sweden in the late 19th century. Only if Daniel can learn to walk on water can he realize his hope to get home. An amazingly original, meritorious novel.”
— Deal Safrit, Literary Book Post, Salisbury, NC
In 1878, aspiring entomologist Hans Bengler travels to the Kalahari Desert in hopes of making a name for himself by discovering a previously unknown insect or two. There he encounters a boy named Molo, an orphan whose family has been killed by European colonists. Bengler "civilizes" the boy by rechristening him Daniel, teaching him to pray to the Christian god, and finally bringing him home to Sweden. The boy is bewildered and awed by the new land, cut off from his culture and the spirits of his family, and Bengler finds that raising a child across a great cultural divide is more difficult than he imagined. A psychological drama of one boy's struggle to find his place in a new land far from home, "Daniel" is a compelling novel for our modern globalized world.