Intriguing, spare, as tightly plotted as anything in the mystery section - as the hired man repairs a British family's vacation home in Croatia, he reveals his own past as well as the family's secrets. GORGEOUS. — Emily Rosendahl— From Staff Recommends
Forna is a born storyteller. . . . Not since "Remains of the Day" has an author so skillfully revealed the way history's layers are often invisible to all but its participants. . . . Gorgeous. John Freeman, "The Boston Globe"
Haunting . . . Detail builds upon detail until the dread and violence that have been barely restrained burst into the open. Anthony Domestico, "San Francisco Chronicle"
An NPR, "Boston Globe," and "San Francisco Chronicle" best book of the year, "The Hired Man"now available in paperbackis an incisive, powerful novel of a small Croatian town and its dark wartime secrets, unwittingly brought into the light by a family of outsiders. Duro Kolak, a stoic lifelong resident of the Croatian village of Gost, is off on a morning's hunt when he discovers that a British family has taken up residence in a house Duro knows well. He offers his assistance getting their water working again, and soon he is at the house every day, helping get it ready as their summer cottage, and serving as their trusted confidant. But the other residents of Gost are not as pleased to have the interlopers, and as the friendship deepens, the volatile truths about the town's past and the house's former occupants whisper ever louder. A masterpiece of storytelling haunted by lost love and a restrained menace, "The Hired Man" confirms Aminatta Forna as one of our most important writers.
Forna modulates the growing suspense with exquisite skill. . . . Beautiful, reminiscent in its mesmerizing clarity of William Trevor's fiction or Per Petterson's. Anna Mundow, "The Christian Science Monitor"
Absorbing . . . Forna's unwavering gaze compels a close look at the complexities of our shared histories. Ellah Allfrey, NPR (online)
About the Author
Aminatta Forna is the author of two previous novels, "Ancestor Stones" and "The Memory of Love," and "The Devil That Danced on the Water," a memoir of her activist father, and her country, Sierra Leone. She lives in London.