The Elephant Keepers' Children
by Hoeg, Peter Other Press (NY) October 2012 Hardcover
From the author of Smilla's Sense of Snow, an epic novel about faith and the magic of everyday life.
Told from the precocious perspective of fourteen-year-old Peter, The Elephant Keepers' Children is about three siblings and how they deal with life alongside their eccentric parents. Peter's father is a vicar, his mother is an artisan, and both are equally and profoundly devout. The family lives on the (fictional) island of Fino, where people of all religious faiths coexist peacefully. Yet, nothing is at it seems.
When Peter's parents suddenly go missing, Peter and his siblings fear the worst--has their parents' relentless quest to boost church attendance finally put them in danger? Told with poignancy and humor, "The Elephant Keepers' Children" is a fascinating exploration of fundamentalism versus spiritual freedom, the vicissitudes of romantic and familial love, and the triumph of the human spirit.