Gifts

A story about mothers and generations, and how wishes and expectations are passed from one generation to the next.

Tuulia is a housewife with a husband and two children. She is adamant about staying home as long as their youngest is still small, but at times she longs to return to the safer, more familiar halls of academia.

How to pass the tests of motherhood and parenting without flunking? Tuulia feels that she is an intermediary, carefully weighing her values and attitudes before passing them on. Her social life is also restructured, as other mothers step into view: a peer group with which she can share the growing pains of the playground.

Gifts is a novel that seeks to find the roots of the everyday, to remember the things that we often forget. Life with children is not an epic tale, but one built up of small, often irrelevant little events and associations – the details that are effaced in the face of more dramatic life changes.

The Ladies of Seven Brothers

Seven Brothers, authored by Finland’s national author Aleksis Kivi in 1870, is widely considered to be the most important novel in Finnish history. In this critically lauded work, Riina Katajavuori gives the story a modern – and distinctively feminine – spin that, in spite of its clever allusions, doesn’t require knowledge of Kivi’s original work. She throws a classic into a blender.

All the guys are crazy about 17-year-old Wenla Männistö, who is whole-heartedly enjoying her youth. Her mother is the practical but enigmatic midwife Marja Männistö. Alli Jukola, the mother of seven, contemplates the past while lounging on the edge of a cloud. We also hear from straight-talking washer Kajsa Rajamäki and Ansku Seunala, who believes in angels. All the while, the slacker brothers of Jukola trade bad jokes in front of the TV.