Konstantin and Clara Finø have disappeared. Again. This time, two years after the first disappearance, their children --- 19-year-old Hans, 16-year-old Tilte and 14-year-old Peter --- are determined to find them, thus stopping a major crime and, quite possibly, coming to understand the meaning of life at the same time. Danish writer Peter Høeg’s latest, THE ELEPHANT KEEPERS’ CHILDREN, is very different from SMILLA’S SENSE OF SNOW, which made him internationally famous. But it’s just as interesting.
"There is much to appreciate and enjoy here; Høeg’s ideas are big ones, and his characters are all so strange.... This is a rewarding, entertaining and provocative book for patient and philosophic readers..."
As soon as they realize their parents are gone and they are to be taken into government custody, the three teenagers spring into action, drawing on a particular set of skills that include soccer, attractiveness, a knowledge of world religions, intelligence and a kind of sibling telepathy. It seems that their parents, though leaders of their religious community on the Danish island of Finø, are also swindlers and liars. What began as the manufacturing of miracles to boost church attendance turned into manufactured miracles for financial gain. And now they have set their sights on the most valuable of the world’s religious artifacts, which will be displayed at an ecumenical synod on the mainland.
Hans, Tilte and Peter have no doubt that their parents are planning something big and illegal, but the motive for doing so (besides the money) eludes them. They believe their parents are “elephant keepers,” individuals who have a large secret or hidden ambition that colors their thoughts, actions and beliefs. The proverbial elephant is a burden to be wrestled with a