The Hired Man

The Hired Man

Book - 2013
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A British woman and her two children move into a small Croatian village after the War of Independence and befriend a handyman who helps shield them from the locals' hostility towards strangers.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, ©2013.
ISBN: 9780802121912
Characteristics: 293 pages ;,22 cm


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Feb 23, 2020

There's not a wasted word in this amazing novel. While reading it one has to remember the clues that lead to the enigmatic ending. It's one of the very few books that I could and will reread.

Apr 05, 2019

If any readers want more historical info on the Croation war they can go to Wikipedia. This story is a novel experience. I'm toward the end of the book and each page gets more interesting. At first I was troubled by the lack of separations between time frames/ past and present. Only later did I realize the author probably intended this cohesiveness between events in different times. What was really unusual was the narrator, Duro's, personality, his culture and the way he thought about events and people; how he orchestrated a subtle revenge by befriending the strangers who came to renovate the blue house and how he satisfied a brief experience in fathering: really different than anything else I've read; creative writing for sure; A nice surprise!

Aug 25, 2017

Set in Croatia, this novel looks back to ethnic cleansing in a small community during the breakup of the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s. Its themes are betrayal and the horror of civil war and Forna evokes the oppressive atmosphere of guilt and denial in its aftermath.

LakeErieLisa Jan 24, 2015

Unique, intriguing, incredibly well-written. A novel written by an African woman who lives in England about Croatia, told in the 1st person voice of a Croatian man. Kind of amazing!

hs69 Oct 25, 2014

This is a great book. It's well-written and gripping, but not a light read. It's true it doesn't give much insight into this particular conflict, but Forna's goal seems to be to explore how trauma and war effect memory. She manages to keep the story universal.

May 25, 2014

Good book, minus one star because it ended in the middle. It was creepy, well-written, I wasn't sure if I liked our main character or not, but I really wanted to know what happened. Then it just ended.

May 11, 2014

The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna places the reader in a unique position: although the first-person narration gives seeming omniscience into the title character's perspective, over time, it becomes apparent that the reader is as much a stranger in a strange land as the British family unaware of the depths of hurt and violence the narrator and his Croatian countrymen suffered in the war and still carry with them two decades on. The narrator does not lay blame or accusation of ignorance on the reader nor the family, but instead molds his story to the listener, carefully parceling out details - even the final, wrenching revelations of atrocity and betrayal - only according to the listener's capacity to withstand them.

Apr 22, 2014

Good writing, and good storytelling, but the author offers little insight into the subject.

Feb 16, 2014

Excellent book, intriguing and well written. The pace keeps you ready for more with each page. I will be ordering the other books she has written.

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