Book - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Elsa is dying. Her husband, Martti, and daughter Eleonoora are struggling to accept the crushing thought that they are soon to lose her. As Elsa becomes ever more fragile, Eleonoora's childhood memories are slipping away. Meanwhile, Eleonoora's daughter Anna spends her time pondering the fates of passersby. For her the world is full of stories. But the story that will change her forever is the one about Eeva, her mother's nanny, whom her grandparents have been silent about for years. Eeva's forgotten story, which Anna first learns of when she discovers an old dress of Eeva's, is finally revealed layer by layer. The tale that unfolds is about a mother and daughter, about how memory can deceive us--and sometimes that is the most merciful thing that can happen.
Publisher: New York : Other Press, c2011
ISBN: 9781590515006
Characteristics: 358 p. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Rogers, Lola


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Quote

melwyk Apr 10, 2012

But I still believe, even now, that true revolutions last a lifetime -- they're always quiet, and they happen when no one's looking.

melwyk Apr 10, 2012

True rebellion is enjoying your existence no matter the circumstances.

melwyk Apr 10, 2012

Relationships between people are like dense forests. Or maybe it’s the people themselves who are forests, trail after trail opening up within them, trails that are kept hidden from others, opening only by chance to those who happen upon them.


Add a Comment

melwyk Apr 10, 2012

This Finnish story moves back and forth in time, from the current day perspective of Anna, a young woman, to that of her grandparents when they were in their prime. Her grandfather, an artist, had a clichéd affair with Eeva, his daughter's nanny many years ago -- the repercussions of which are now being stirred up again, as her grandmother Elsa is dying of cancer and tells Anna about it.

The story explores relationships past and present, between people now far distant from one another and between people at different ages.

Despite the fact that this novel is about betrayal, death, depression, sadness, loss and much more, it is not a dark story. It feels spacious, open and yet complex... it shifts between time periods seamlessly, and draws the connections between people with a sure hand.

In any case, I did find this a good read, though it took me a little while to get into it. It began slowly, but was so full of gorgeous depictions of Finland that I really did find it absorbing. It gave me a picture of a tangled and dark emotional dilemma, even while the Finnish setting seemed saturated with light, something I didn't really associate with Finland. The language was also very quotable.

Full review at The Indextrious Reader


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at MARINet

To Top