Nominated by:

Jacksonville Public Library, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, USA

The Lower River

Paul Theroux      

2014 Longlist

When he was a young man, Ellis Hock spent four of the best years of his life with the Peace Corps in Malawi. So when his wife of forty-two years leaves him, he decides to return to the village where he was stationed in search of the happiness he’d been missing since he left. But what he finds is not what he expected. The school he built is a ruin, the church and clinic are gone, and poverty and apathy have set in among the people.

They remember Ellis and welcome him with open arms. Soon, however, their overtures turn menacing; they demand money and refuse to let him leave the village. Is his new life an escape or a trap?

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Paul Theroux is the author of many highly acclaimed books. His novels include The Lower River and The Mosquito Coast, and his renowned travel books include Ghost Train to the Eastern Star and Dark Star Safari. He lives in Hawaii and on Cape Cod.

Librarian’s Comments

This extraordinary, yet accessible novel is a suspenseful page turner and a commentary on the misguided nature of philanthropy. Below the surface, Theroux manages to present personal tragedy with a touch of humor and expose the powerful emotion of disillusionment that come when one’s memories do not line up with fact.

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