Escape from Sunset Grove

Reading material

English and German edition
English synopses
French, Italian, Spanish and
Finnish editions

Original title: Ehtoolehdon pakolaiset

Published: 2014

Publisher: Teos

Class/genre: Literary

Pages: 256

Sunset Grove retirement home turns into a kind of hell when it is taken over by foreign construction workers cursing fluently in Finnish. The noise is deafening, a hole appears in the wall, things disappear and residents have to use a portable toilet.

Residents Siiri, Irma and Anna-Liisa, all older than 90, decide to move into a shared apartment in the exotic neighbourhood of Hakaniemi. All three have their own habits and quirks, and life together isn’t entirely free of friction. The women also learn about the sad differences in quality with at-home assistance, and are forced to become familiar with terminal care and questions surrounding euthanasia.

Our heroes also can’t help looking into the suspicious plumbing project at Sunset Grove. As the mystery unfolds, they begin to find out that few people in this world have a fully clean record.


Original publisher: FINLAND, Teos
CZECH REPUBLIC, Albatros Media
DENMARK, Jensen & Dalgaard
GERMANY, Kiepenheuer & Witsch
FRANCE, Calmann-Lévy
ITALY, Marsilio
SLOVAKIA, Albatros Media
SPAIN, Penguin Random House
SWEDEN, Norstedts
WORLD ENGLISH, Pan Macmillan

“Lindgren is a virtuoso with language. She pokes fun at today’s speech that is often clichéd and void of substance.”
– Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, Finland

“The smart storytelling steals the reader away…[the book] is full of apt criticism of the world in which we live and its crooked values. It proves again that the elderly aren’t a uniform mass but a group of individuals, of whom each one carries a unique sum of experiences and memories.”
-Savon sanomat newspaper, Finland

“Oh, how I enjoyed this. I enjoyed Escape from Sunset Grove at least as much as Death in Sunset Grove. The leading characters are so funny and sympathetic that I couldn’t help but hope that one of them were my grandmother.”
-Lukutoukan kulttuuriblogi (Bookworm’s culture blog), Finland

“The word satire can’t and shouldn’t be avoided with Sunset Grove. It bites sharply into our entire health care system and elderly care…in spite of its tough critical elements, [Death in Sunset Grove] is an upbeat and refreshing book.”
-Kamppi-Eira newspaper, Finland

Minna Lindgren

Minna Lindgren (b. 1963) is a freelance journalist and columnist known for her whimsical writing style and fearless approach to topics as strange as opera and death. In addition to novels, she has authored nonfiction books on classical music. In 2009 Lindgren won the Bonnier Journalism Prize for her article entitled “Father’s Death” (“Isän kuolema”).

The fictional Death in Sunset Grove (Kuolema Ehtoolehdossa, Teos 2013) and Escape from Sunset Grove (Ehtoolehdon pakolaiset, Teos 2014) are the first two entries of a mystery trilogy that takes a sharp and satirical look at life inside a retirement home. Both books have been critical and commercial successes, and well-known British-born Finnish director Neil Hardwick is currently working on a film adaptation.

If you enjoy the whodunits of Miss Marple, the sharp quips of Downton Abbey or the playfulness of the bestsellingThe 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared, you will fall in love with The Sunset Grove Trilogy.


Minna Lindgren

The End of Sunset Grove

2015, Literary

Minna Lindgren

Death in Sunset Grove

2013, Literary

Minna Lindgren

The Angry Widow

2018, Literary

Minna Lindgren

A Far, Far Love

2019, Literary

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