Friheten förde hos hit

The Love of Liberty Brought Us Here

by Gunnar Ardelius

"The sweat ran down their backs. The long journey from an icy and chilly Stockholm was over; they had arrived in Yekepa. The powerful sun beat down on patches of unprotected skin and the dust settled quickly again on the ground. Like a herd of frightened animals they clung close together."  
Hektor, Margret and their teenage son Mårten have just landed in Liberia. It is the end of the 1960s and Hektor is about to start his new job with the Swedish mining company LAMCO. The journey carried with it the promise of a new start but he soon realises that his career at the mine will not be straightforward. He is alarmed by the management's attitude towards the local inhabitants and unofficial strike action is looming. 
His wife Margret is unhappy in her new environment and finds the Liberians both frightening and exasperating. The heat is oppressive, her nerves are in shreds and she is missing her lover Axel back home in Stockholm. 
The only member of the family to feel at home in the new country is seventeen year-old Mårten. He soon befriends the Snake Boy, the family's unconventional gardener, and meets red-haired Ingela who loves Hitchcock and The Saint. Mårten is living in a new era: he believes in change and in the international solidarity of the proletariat, and he sides with the Liberians against the colonialists. However, his conviction and naiveté inevitably drive events to the edge of catastrophe and place the whole family - and the Snake Boy - in danger.  
The Love of Liberty Brought Us Here, the story of a Swedish family's destiny in 1960s Liberia, is intensely gripping with its sense of foreboding and is a fascinating documentation of an often overlooked part of contemporary Swedish history.

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