Tea on the Blue Sofa

Tea on the Blue Sofa

Natasha Illum Berg

Pub date
Harper Perennial
B Format 129x198mm
144 pages
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Book Overview

A passionate, bittersweet memoir of a love cruelly cut short, set in the splendour of East Africa.

Natasha Illum Berg is secretly in love. As she waits for her married lover in her beautiful house in the African countryside, she reflects on her Danish childhood, her African present, the tides of her life. She has been changed forever by meeting her lover – her previous existence, her family, her journey to Africa and her other lovers seem to belong to a different person. But one evening, on his way to visit her, her lover is shot, murdered, outside her gates. As their love was clandestine, so her mourning for him must be private too. How can she come to terms with a sadness that cannot be expressed? To whom will she turn when she must never reveal the truth of her mourning?

Tea on a Blue Sofa introduces an extraordinary and distinctive new voice. The book is full of wonderful images and scenes, peopled by vivid characters. But, above all, this love letter gives off a searing, intense emotion that leaps off the page, a sadness that is as deep and profound as literature can provide.

About the author

Natasha Illum Berg was born in Sweden and now lives in Tanzania. She is the only female licensed hunter in East Africa. Her first book, Rivers of Red Earth, is about her life as a professional hunter.


  • ‘This slender yet unsentimental tribute to friendship and the devastation of loss before love has scarcely got into its stride could become an African classic. Natasha Illum Berg captures the essence of who Tonio was, without imprisoning him on a page. The dedication of Tea on the Blue Sofa speaks volumes to me, his mother.’ Errol Trzebinski
  • ‘The bravest of the brave, the most generous of the generous. It takes real courage both to love as deeply and to write as well as Natasha Illum Berg. Her memoir of a love that died before it could be born already deserves to be called a classic.’ Fiammetta Rocco, Economist
  • ‘Well written … Painstakingly honest.’ Daily Telegraph