And the Stars Fall

Original title: Ja taivaan tähdet putoavat

Published: 2014

Publisher: Teos

Class/genre: Literary

Pages: 344

Having grown up in a northern Finnish town with a predominantly Laestadian population, Anni becomes more familiar with her roots and this sect of Christianity while working on her master’s thesis. Immersing herself into her research is helping her process her recent, painful divorce. Anni is also doing her best to support her 15-year-old daughter Mirka, who has sought refuge in drugs and is spiraling out of control.

When Anni meets an interesting man online and Mirka finds a supportive therapy group, life appears to settle into new routines. Suddenly, however, controlling and cult-like elements begin to surface in Mirka’s therapy, and Anni becomes concerned: the threads of manipulation are both invisible and difficult to break. Meanwhile Anni is re-examining painful buried secrets from her childhood. The lives of both mother and daughter are pushed to the verge. Maria Peura writes potently and honestly about the fragile human mind and the nature of manipulation.

“Peura’s northern speech feels real and unspoiled on the page. Her skill with language allows each speaker to become fully realized…the novel feels like the perfect duet of voices; alternating in solo parts are Mirka and her mother Anni, whose life Peura opens up layer by layer, moving into the past.”
– Helsingin sanomat newspaper, Finland

“A passionate depiction of the power of suggestion … In describing the chaos inside her characters’ heads, Peura is at her most natural.”
– Aamulehti newspaper, Finland

”A sensual portrait of the mind’s fragility…Peura succeeds best when relating to the inner life of a child.”
– Savon sanomat newspaper, Finland

Maria Peura


Maria Peura (b. 1970) is a prize-winning author and dramaturge. She was given the prestigious Young Aleksis Kivi Prize, and nominated for the Finlandia Prize, for her debut novel Your Love Is Infinite (On rakkautes ääretön) in 2001. It also received received the Olvi Foundation Award and the Good Deed for Children Award. At the Edge of Light (Valon reunalla), received stellar reviews both in Finland and in the UK, where it was published in 2007. Among Peura’s other works is a collection of poetry for children.

Bibliography


Maria Peura

At the Edge of Light

2005, Literary


Maria Peura

Under the Water

2008, Literary


Maria Peura

Your Love Is Infinite

2001, Literary

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