Helena Thorfinn is a Swedish writer and development professional currently living in Washington DC. Helena moves between writing, journalism and development issues with a passion for people and how people strategize to live their lives, personally, politically and practically.
Sofia and Janne return to Dhaka to find their beloved city in ruins. A recent terrorist attack has shaken the community and their neighbourhood is no longer the expat safe-haven of clubs, pools and embassy parties that it once was.
Sofia is determined to continue to pursue her work in human rights but seems to find trouble at every turn, whilst her husband, Janne, is left at home and becomes increasingly frustrated with his life as a house-husband and a teacher, surrounded by Asian tiger mums.
Meanwhile, in the servants’ quarters on the top floor of Sofia and Janne’s mansion, two local girls, Pinky and Dipita, are moving in. The two dancers spend their nights working at the cantonment where they soon build up a network of unsavoury characters that will later prove vital to their landlords.
Preoccupied by her work and the continued threat of terror; it is only once Sofia finds herself stranded in the mangroves of the Sunderbans, with an American colleague, that she realises that it is not just her professional but also her private life that is at stake.
“Helena Thorfinn is a true storyteller, with a unique feeling for tension, presence and believable characters. Her commitment and political expertise runs like a thread throughout the text, but is well integrated and never overshadows the story.“
Susanna Romanus, Publisher
“Through both their professional and personal lives, Thorfinn examines the Swedes brutal encounter with an intractable reality, far from what they could imagine in their familiar home environment.”
“Tigertrails is a novel that draws you in, the kind of book that you cannot put down while you do not want it to end.”
SUSANNA ROMANUS, PUBLISHER
Sisters by the River
Sofia has high expectations of her new job as head of development co-operation at the Swedish embassy in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, and Janne grudgingly accepts that going with her means he will have to assume the role of stay-at-home dad for their two young children.
At the same time a young woman, Mukta, is murdered by her husband in a small village deep in the countryside. Her little sisters Mina and Nazrin decide to take their destiny into their own hands and flee to Dhaka.
Confronting the reality of Dhaka is equally as overwhelming for Swedish Sofia and Janne as it is for the young sisters from the village, and despite the different circumstances their lives soon become linked. The story reveals a world of grand embassy receptions, exploited textile workers and Swedish family life. Careerists and idealists gather around the same swimming pool, and tennis matches and terrorism impact everyday life.
Sisters by the River is a novel vibrant with colour and teeming with life and it takes us to places and events at whirlwind speed. With immediacy and humour Thorfinn describes the Swedes’ attempts to do good while being politically correct, and she movingly narrates the dreams and misfortunes of the Bangla girls. A sweeping, powerful and exciting portrayal touching on the urgent, difficult issues as well as the everyday ones.
Innan floden tar oss
Swedish manuscript (final)