Orangeberry Book Tours – The Consul General’s Wife by Aliefka Bijlsma
Melchior Steenbergen is leading an idyllic life. An elite member of Holland’s diplomatic corps, he is the Consul General in Rio, with a sweeping view of the Ipanema bay from his official residence, and a beautiful wife 20 years his junior. His trustworthy maid, Mercy, who is from Ghana and has followed him everywhere, attends to his every need. At 59, his time as a diplomat is winding down, but he expects to put one more feather in his cap: an ambassadorship. Paris, perhaps. Doesn’t he deserve it?
But Melchior’s glorious world is a façade, a house of cards, and sharp winds are starting to blow.
The Consul General’s Wife is the story of a man, elegant and dignified, unable to recognize his own flaws. Set against the mystical and unforgiving city of Rio, the novel is a comedy about a dying generation. And a tragedy about a man who has only a few days left to wake up.
Praise for the book:
Russell Shorto, author and contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine says: “The Consul General’s Wife is set in the rarified world of Dutch diplomats, but the expertly drawn characters who inhabit it represent a much broader spectrum of humanity. Urbane, worldly, world-weary, scheming: they seem ultimate creatures of our age. Then again, Aliefka Bijlsma’s rich novel calls to mind most of all the work of Graham Greene–which suggests that we are dealing with a category of human experience that is timeless.”