Firstborn

A heartrending autobiographical novel about one’s own child being placed in an institution and about feeling out of place as a child

The author starts putting together the story of her firstborn child – a child whose ill-being and problematic behavior eventually led to him being placed in a child protection institution. Only now, when everything is okay, does the author dare to put her own distress and guilt into words. “What mistakes did I make? How was I trespassed against and why has my child ended up broken because of me being broken?”

Maria Peura’s autobiographical novel is a relentlessly honest and lyrically beautiful depiction of the cycles of trauma, of the effects of violence, and the chance for light and survival.


36 Urns: A History of Being Wrong

A celebrated author’s masterful and poetic confession of love to her mother

Author Sirpa Kähkönen’s mother Riitta (b. 1941) died in March 2022 after a long illness. In life, she struggled to accept love. “I do not grieve your death, I grieve your life,” Sirpa Kähkönen writes, knowing fully well that her mother wouldn’t like the phrase. Her mother rejected love, despite longing for it the most. Riitta was athletic, beautiful, and gifted. A traffic accident at the age of 16 changed the course of her life for ever.

Drawing on her mother’s diaries, Kähkönen depicts the life of a 1950s girl and the dramatic change that followed the accident. The novel talks about community dance halls, a broken mind, flowing hems, a 1960s mother, anxiety, anger and hate, addiction, and moments of psychosis. It talks about how wars and other crises become corporeal, how violence is inherited, and how the culture of discouragement and submission is passed down through the generations in sayings and attitudes, with the author clearly seeing herself as part of the tradition of anger and violence.

The novel is permeated by a fiery love, as if an ancient Finnish spell that, with the power of words, is capable of bringing loved ones back from the dead.


Arctic Wedding Nightmare

A dream wedding underneath the northern lights – or a wedding nightmare before Christmas?

Mila is a star vlogger, whose husband-to-be dumps her two weeks before the dream Christmas-time wedding of the century. For Mila, the idea of canceling the wedding is a disaster. And what’s even more important is to finish the wedding video series that her followers are eagerly waiting for!

To solve this, Mila persuades her former teenage crush to be her pretend fiancé. Soon Mila’s siblings, Jesse and Laura, also find themselves caught within the web of lies weaved by their sister.

The wedding preparations in beautiful Lapland start to resemble a nightmarish undercover operation. Will the lies hold until Christmas Eve? Will Santa Claus get kissed on the altar? For whom do the sleigh bells eventually ring?


The Investigations of a Certain Cat

Katja Kettu’s stunning novel spins through ages whilst surrendering to the wilderness of nature and the deep yearning for offspring.

Can one find solace and meaning in life from the past once the future no longer exists?

An Author has a miscarriage and loses their ability to speak and write. From the Investigative Bureau of Heavens, a Detective is sent to the scene, but something goes awry. Soon, in the corner of the room, there appears Cat who starts examining a mysterious diary that once belonged to the Author’s Great Grandmother.

When a new life has been lost, the Author turns their gaze to the past and to the age-old words of creation in the old Finnish outskirts. The one who knows them, Great Grandmother, has the power of healers. The Great Grandmother’s diary sheds light on birth and death, love towards children, and the strength of heritage in one’s blood.

Combining autofiction and elements of magical realism, Katja Kettu’s latest novel also sheds light on the history of the Finnish frontiers.


Milo

New independent crime novel by the New York Times Bestselling and Spiegel Bestselling Author Max Seeck!

We are very excited to announce that New York Times Bestselling Author Max Seeck is working on a new independent crime novel, MILO (working title)!

MILO will be published by Tammi in Finland in September 2024.

Here is what Max Seeck said about writing MILO:

”I’m so very excited and grateful for the confidence and commitment by both Bastei Lübbe and the Ahlback Agency. This gives me a great boost to finish the novel and make it as good as I can.”

We believe MILO has all the potential to outdo Max Seeck’s already very impressive sales records – get in touch with us if you would like to receive first materials and acquire the rights!

Rights for Max Seeck’s previous Jessica Niemi crime series have been sold into 40 territories and Hollywood: an international TV-show is in development. Over 400,000 copies of his books have been sold in Finland alone. Book 3 in the series, THE LAST GRUDGE (orig. Kauna, Tammi 2021), is nominated for the Glass Key Award 2023.


The Sicilian Defense

The profiling skills of Salla Kotka come under pressure as she comes head-to-head with a serial killer.

Salla Kotka’s career as a forensic psychologist is progressing under the guidance of her mentor Ruth Segre. While interviewing serial killers, Salla meets again with a psychopath called the Groom. The man seems to know something about the serial killer Harlequin who is terrorizing Milan. But why does the Groom seem so interested in Salla?

Catching the Harlequin becomes even more important for Salla when the police claim that the perpetrator is someone close to Segre. Meanwhile, Salla is tortured by thoughts of her mother’s suspicious death and the secrets of the past.

Salla searches for a ruthless serial killer in the dark Milan night, but has evil managed to get much closer than she could have imagined?


Meet Me in the Darkness

✓  Sequel to the internationally bestselling and critically acclaimed Follow the Butterfly!

✓  Rights to Follow the Butterfly have been sold to 15 territories, including UK & US!

Five years have passed since the events of Follow the Butterfly. Ira and Arto have teamed up, and both work as crime journalists for the Helsinki Gazette. Everything’s going nicely, until they start suspecting there’s a serial killer on the loose in Helsinki.

The murders are investigated by Senior Crime Inspector Kerttu Leppänen, who leads the murder unit and eagerly waits for retirement. Unsolved cases haunt Kerttu, who is unable to forgive herself.

The past catches up with all of them – if they were ever free from its clutches in the first place…


Private Property

Tuulia Raja is a resourceful flight attendant who keeps calm even in the worst of pickles. But when her employer is declared bankrupt, it is time to search for new horizons. A chance encounter leads her to meet with a private investigator, and in no time she is investigating the last moments of a now-dead business mogul. Everyone related to the case is hiding something, but what? Tuulia plans to find this out, no matter the cost.

Pauliina Susi’s Private Property opens the new Tuulia Raja, Private Eye series in which a quick-witted detective capably and cleverly handles the different cases that come her way.


The Outback Series: The Island Torn Apart

Korppoo: a place where many have died.

It’s a beautiful place – serene, a little piece of paradise – by the name of Korppoo. A place where people offer apple pie to passers-by and lend their tractor to their neighbors. Where everyone greets each other, joys are shared and grudges are borne forever. Then, Jennifer from Helsinki buys a guest marina on the island and brings death with her.

Sigge Boman, an embittered ferryman who lost the family boat to gambling, decides to get his own back. However, his liquor-soaked revenge expedition takes an unexpected turn when a floating corpse gets caught up on the bow of Sigge’s miserable outboard motorboat. He peers to look, stumbles, and sinks into the icy depths, clinging on tightly to the stiff body. He is rescued at the last minute and his drunken bungling is misinterpreted as a heroic rescue attempt. For the first time in his life, Sigge is appreciated – and that’s easy to get hooked on

Meanwhile, a new inn owner arrives on the island, the good-hearted Jennifer who brings death with her. Empty boats drift on the sea and a feeling of unease spreads among the islanders. Are these strange events just chance, or is everything somehow linked to Jennifer’s high-flying plans? Or is it the three Russians snapping up properties in the area at an ever-faster pace?

The Island Torn Apart promises the reader at least one thing – when the earth’s crust tears, things will be revealed that no one would have dared to dig out.


When I Forgot

In Elina Hirvonen’s accomplished debut, a young journalist named Anna Louhiniitty is trying to come to terms with the trauma of her past: the years she has spent trying to protect her mentally ill older brother, Joona, and the generational trauma she has inherited from her family and the legacy of WWII. She is sitting in a café, attempting to read Michael Cunningham’s The Hours, given to her by her lover Ian, a visiting lecturer from the U.S. It’s just over a year after 9/11, and as Anna processes her memories, she also tells us Ian’s story, who has suffered his own trauma as a bullied child with a father who succumbed to mental illness in the Vietnam War. In Hirvonen’s lucid prose, Anna grapples with her painful memories, as well as those of Ian and her family, and slowly begins to find the words to name her experiences and accept them. As she ends her quiet afternoon in the café, she knows she can go on, one day at a time.


When Time Runs Out

Helsinki, less than a decade in the future. Laura Anttila is lecturing at the university on climate change, hope, and the responsibility of humans. In the hallway, she is confronted by two police officers.

Laura’s daughter Aava encounters a woman who has just lost her daughter in a Somalian village. Having returned to her apartment, Laura hears that someone is shooting at people from the rooftop of the Lasipalatsi building in Helsinki.

When Time Runs Out is a powerful novel about parenthood, about finding your place, and about the responsibility of people to intervene in the course of events.


They Had It All

It’s 2050, and the choices made in 2019 still echo in the changed world. Can one still learn how to understand, to atone, to forgive?

A melancholy, feverish novel about male ego and the end of the world, about people’s ability to love one another and their inability to keep hold of the happiness they have achieved.

Vilho’s father Ilmari, a forty-something theater director, is balancing successfully between the push-and-pull of career and family life, according to him. However, the tranquil peace of the wooden house is upset when Vilho’s widowed grandfather temporarily moves in with the four-member family. The tension between fathers and sons is palpable, and this sets off a chain of events that prove to be fateful for the entire family.

Thirty years later, in a wholly changed world, Vilho looks back at the lives lived in the early 2000s, the choices made back then, and the events of that fateful summer in an effort to understand his father. How do we become the people we are now? Who were the people who lived then? And did they have any clue how privileged their lives were?


The Second Coming of Christ

While on his rural tour in autumn 1914, the tenor singer Aarne Oden coughs up a life-threatening amount of blood, and he is diagnosed with tuberculosis. He is sent off to the tuberculosis sanatorium, the kingdom of those hanging on to life by just a thread.

At the same time, in a remote village in the north, the preacher and landowner Kustaa Anttola is preparing for the Michaelmas prayer proceedings. However, the preparations get interrupted when he finds the local madman Stye-Viljaami drinking in his barn. In his anger, Kustaa gives Viljami a heavy beating. During the prayers, Kustaa’s life is forever altered as Christ appears behind the window to listen to his sermon.

Aarne, who has recovered at the sanatorium, also finds himself in the north, supervising the transportation of munitions of the Russian Empire, from the coasts of the Arctic Ocean to the northernmost railroad station of the Empire. When spring comes, Aarne meets Christ on the shore of a wild lake and finds that the two have more in common than he thought. And soon, Kustaa Anttola finds two Christs on his land.

How do people see themselves when they’re forced to give up what they have constructed their identity on, and illness becomes the characteristic trait defining them? And how does one see their loved ones, marked by death and illness? What happens to a righteous preacher when the long-expected Christ arrives before him in the form of the creature most wretched?

Aki Ollikainen’s latest novel grows larger in size thanks to its lyrical language. The individual scenes are like expressionist paintings reaching over the visible world.


The Red Room

Published author looking to buy an apartment in southern Helsinki. Offer me a good price, and I will write you a book!

Lust and power collide in an upscale apartment in the fashionable southern Helsinki. The steep and sturdy Art Nouveau walls have seen decadent parties and cruel games.

At first, it’s just a joke: a newspaper ad in which a young writer promises to write a book in exchange for an affordable apartment. But when a gentleman living alone offers him the home of his dreams, the young man finds himself involved in a remarkable game.

He begins to write a story that takes the reader to the labyrinth of desire and submission, to the nightlife of 1980s Helsinki, and to the intricate setups of relationships between men – but what is his place in it?


The Night of Ancient Lights

Close friends come together on the night of Ancient Lights to watch the chain of bonfires blaze across the archipelago and talk through their pasts and futures as the proximity of death ignites an intense passion for life.

Elea has just heard that she is seriously ill and wants to share with friends the sense of urgency that shakes her to her core. The push-and-pull of hope and despair permeates the narration that flows in the rhythm of the sea, in dialogue with Virginia Woolf’s Waves and Tove Jansson’s Summer Book. It captures the soul of the Finnish archipelago – the world’s largest island labyrinth.

Intellectual force is braided with subtle drama as personal emergency is woven into the fabric of global crises: the pandemic and climate change. Time is disrupted, but illuminated moments gleam in the dark. This intellectually fierce and passionate one-evening novel threads philosophical reflections into deeply intimate perceptions in a way that readers of Rachel Cusk and Maggie Nelson will recognize.

The novel has received glowing reviews – it has been praised for its lyrical language, wisdom and boldness, complex philosophical reflection on illness, precise narration, and passion for life, love and nature.


The Magician’s Daughters

A magical novel about two sisters who grow up in different families.

As children, Linda and her little sister Magda follow, in secret, how their father hypnotizes his customers. The girls listen to their most secret wishes, forbidden emotions, and dreamlike memories. The girls also act as statisticians and audience for their father’s magic tricks, and through it all, they love each other fiercely.

But their parents end up divorcing, and the two sisters are torn away from each other. Magda lives with her mother, drifts around in Helsinki, and ends up in a relationship with an adult man. Linda grows up with her father and gets the opportunity to try to reach her dreams of being an artist and to have her own family.

Years later, Linda’s daughter Indra finds her hypnotist grandfather’s box with contents that surprise her. Indra


The Limit

It’s a sweltering summer’s day, and Anja Aropalo is on her way home with two errands in mind: first, to water the roses, and then to commit suicide. She is slowly losing her husband to Alzheimer’s disease, and she has made him a terrible promise — one she’s not sure she can keep.

For Anja’s niece, Mari, death is a teenage fantasy of grieving family and eternal beauty, an escape from the dullness of her life. But the adventure she longs for seems to come within reach when she begins a relationship with her charismatic teacher, Julian. His six-year-old daughter, Anni, is a witness to their blossoming affair, observing the lies and truths of those around her as she tries to discover what it is to be an adult.

The Limit draws together these four people, all struggling to work out where their boundaries lie. In vivid, incandescent prose, Riikka Pulkkinen reveals how our limits can show us who we really are.


The Green Chamber

In December 1964 Kuopio, in the eastern lake area of Finland, it’s a time of harsh, frosty days when the lake freezes in the grip of cold. As their parents are exhausted from the post-war world of reconstruction, three young people – Irene, Leo and Jaakko – are trying to find their way into a carefree reality and looking to solve the painful secrets of budding love and friendship.

In the tumultuous, revolutionary days of the early 1900s, Santeri and Linnea meet in the villa community of Terijoki on the coast of the Gulf of Finland. The Russian Revolution has plunged princes and princesses into poverty and decimated the grand villas, making the young couple set their only hopes on raising flowers and cherishing friendships. In 1964, Linnea and Santeri tend to their flower shop Paradise Lily like its own secret, living green soul.

At the heart of THE GREEN CHAMBER, as if in the deepest crevices of a tree, is the tale of Santeri’s trip to Leningrad. He has loathed the Bolsheviks ever since his youthful dreams were crushed by the Russian Revolution. At the start of 1964, however, something has broken within him, and he is ready to face the repercussions of this fractured relationship when he meets a young blonde girl. He follows her to Leningrad, though he’s sworn he’d never set foot in Leningrad before the Bolsheviks are expelled. This journey will become the most important one of his life.

THE GREEN CHAMBER is a depiction of the ferocious beauty of the North, frost, sand ridges on which people build their fading fantasies of paradise. THE GREEN CHAMBER is a symbolic story of the deep power of the forests that appear as a safe harbor, an enchantment, and a metaphysical escape for the people of this novel. It is a novel about wars and rebellions that cast human beings around like driftwood and, finally, it tells the story of why, even on the very last beach, the highest deed of a human being is the planting a tree.

Praise:

”The presence of light, colors, and nature moves within the thoughts of this marvelously written piece. Even in the most dramatic of scenes, the text appears placid in an aesthetic way. Hence, the reader will experience the stormy points of emotions as an underwater gurgle of joy and the moaning crackle of ice. ‘The Green Room’ is a landscape of the mind and nature, combining literary text and a documentary, a visual wording of Destiny itself – Teppo Kulmala, Etelä-Suomen Sanomat, November 2021

”The Green Chamber’ demonstrates that hatred has a long shadow but love bears a stronger light.”- Mari Paalosalo-Jussinmäki, Eeva magazine, Culture, December 2021

In the center of The Green Chamber are three 17-year-old youths coming of age in a world where one must conceal their family’s shame and carry responsibility like an adult. [–] The narration of time, place, and ambiance are magnificent. Kähkönen’s already gorgeous language is at its pinnacle in The Green Chamber.

Savonia Prize Jury


Swing

An old woman is found hanged in a forest. Paula finds out that she had terminal cancer and had almost emptied her apartment, knowing to die soon. Her death is considered a suicide, but Paula is not satisfied with it. There is something wrong in the picture.

A famous mountain climber is found hanging above a seesaw in a playground. On the other end of the seesaw Paula finds sand that is far too fine to be natural – the same kind of sand that was found at the forest. Paula realizes that the victims have been forced to balance on a seesaw before death, fighting for their lives. Paula Pihlaja has barely started the investigation when a third body turns up – a teenage boy, at another playground, hanged. A serial killer is on the loose.

Third title in the series, Logboat (Ruuhi), comes out summer 2024!

Paula is an interesting protagonist [–]. There is reserved, sharp authority in her that startles with its mysteriousness. The reader knows more about her than the characters of the novel. Still, one secret is kept hidden from the reader as well until the very last pages of the book. And when that information is revealed, at least I put many things into new context, and Paula gets my deep sympathies. The members of Paula’s team also start to ‘gain flesh on their bones’. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. The events are carried forth so that elements of the solution are strewn, and motives are shuffled around.

Tuijata, Kulttuuripohdintoja blog


Ghost Island

The fourth title in the NYT-bestselling Jessica Niemi series!

A month after solving the Zetterborg case, Jessica Niemi is ordered on paid leave after an altercation, and she decides to travel to a small island in the Åland archipelago to escape the attention and find some peace. Meanwhile, a group of old people arrive on the same island, and Jessica learns that they are the remaining members of the Doves, the people who had to flee from Finland to Sweden during World War II and ended up living in an orphanage on the very same island.

One evening, Jessica hears a local legend about a girl who also inhabited the orphanage once, but who was mentally ill. Every night at two o’clock, the girl put on her blue coat and went to stand on the pier, waiting for something that never showed up. One night she disappeared and was never found. That same night, one of the remaining Doves dies.

Jessica soon finds out that two other people have previously faced the same fate on the same island, and all three people seem to have something to do with the girl in the blue coat. A chain of events starts to escalate, and we don’t know whether we’re facing a killer or – just like the legend says – a ghost, the girl in the blue coat.

Jessica Niemi is once again facing a scary mystery where the stakes are considerable. Whilst battling her own demons, uncertain what is real and what is not, she needs to find out the truth.

The fourth installment of the Jessica Niemi series of detective novels is the best to date and proves Seeck’s mastery of the genre’s traditions.

Helsingin Sanomat starred review


The Enchantment

This shiningly beautiful novel is an autopsy of girlhood and power

Philippa Laakso, aged seventeen, is found dead in her yard at home. Nothing suggests a crime, and everyone who knew her is certain she wasn’t suicidal. On the other hand, all who knew her seem to hold a differing view of her. The investigation sees them being interviewed, but behind every view and story is Philippa’s influence. She still has the people around her in a sharp grip: her friend, ex-boyfriend, teacher, neighbors.

Riikka Pulkkinen’s anticipated novel examines the power and comfort of make-believe and the thin line between love and play. Every character in the novel sees Philippa in his or her own way, as a mirror for fantasizing, anger, aspirations, comfort, and freedom, and uses their perceived image of Philippa to their own ends.

Riikka Pulkkinen is a Finnish Joyce Carol Oates.
– Livres Hebdo, France


White Hunger

A mother and her two young children trudge through a swirling snowstorm, with nothing but endless misery around them and golden, grand St. Petersburg as their destination. The endless winter and ruthless hunger have turned people into animals, and on their journey the family comes face-to-face with a reality that is nearly impossible to imagine today.

Meanwhile, the better-off Renqvist brothers have their own existential questions to deal with. Teo, a doctor, ponders in anguish what kind of god could let such a calamity fall upon mankind; Lars, an assistant to a senator, decides to bury his doubts by blindly trusting the decisions of his superior. When the hungry family and the Renqvists cross paths, humanity, in the end, triumphs amongst all suffering.


Where It All Begins

The first adult novel by Finland’s #1 internationally bestselling and award-winning YA author!

Autopsy of a relationship – literary suspense at its best!

Award-winning illustrator Nova moves with her partner, Isla, into a dream house in the middle of a forest. However, the calm and quiet of the light in a faraway region is not enough to fix the cracks in the relationship.

After the breakup, Nova isolates herself in her office to illustrate old Finnish horror stories, which unexpectedly reveal a link to the new home. Isla, in turn, does not seem willing to accept the situation but carries on in the shared home as if nothing has happened. When reality seems to distort, the confused Nova comes face-to-face with the sorrows of the past. In what does one dare trust?

A gradually darkening story about love – where it begins, what it survives, and how it ends.


Anna of Haga Manor

Life and love of the nobility in 18th century Finland!

Anna of Haga Manor is an enchantingly sensuous historical novel that transports the reader to 18th century Finland, still part of Sweden then, and into the middle of a certain love story.

Anna Magdalena Lilliebrunn, a noblewoman approaching her forties, has a stain on her reputation and the role of an old maid looms in her future. Everything is about to change, however, as the notoriously hot-tempered officer Karl Gustaf Uggla from the neighboring manor is chosen to be Anna’s husband.

At the Haga Manor, Anna is met by a frigid atmosphere. The reserved relatives and her husband’s lover make sure that the new daughter-in-law will neither feel at home nor become lady of the house. Will the tough and self-willed Anna be capable of living in the manner that she believes in?

Anna of Haga Manor is the masterful opening chapter of a new historical novel series, The Ladies of Haga Manor, which is based on thorough research on the lives and fates of real women who lived at the real Haga manor. The ambience of the past is expertly captured and the reader will want to savour every word.


A Tale of Darkness

In his second novel, Aki Ollikainen takes his readers to Tattarisuo, which has a dark and special reputation in Finnish criminal history. The narrator’s family has fallen apart, and his wife and son have left him. Reality has become unhinged, and the unresolved tragedies inherited from prior generations have started to overwhelm his thoughts. Many paths seem to lead him to Tattarisuo, a place where a man known as Witch-Kallio used to perform mystic practices.

On a second temporal level, the reader follows Heino, a bootlegger in 1930s Helsinki. Heino has a family, a wife and a son, and his life in order, but an all-too-human greed takes hold both in love and money, and Heino’s selfishness and carelessness bring about a chain reaction of events stretching across generations, with the nocturnal Tattarisuo as its starting or ending point.

A TALE OF DARKNESS is a somber, beautiful novel about dissolution on the levels of the individual, family, chain of generations and society as well. The past molds us in one way or another. Inside each and every one of us is a Tattarisuo, a dismal place to drown, but whence a trove of unfathomable riches might one day arise.


A Pastoral

An idyllic midsummer’s day in Eastern Finland. People falling in love and taking care of each other, and nature sublime in its beauty. But darkness lurks around the corner…

Aki Ollikainen’s picturesque third novel is aglow with the rural idyll of a summer’s day and the fantasies of people wandering in the midsummer’s night. During a single day in Eastern Finland, the realities of multiple generations meet, time flows through itself, and strange things occur. And normal things occur as well. Two young people fall in love, two slightly older ones are struggling with their relationship, and two even older people have found a sublime tranquility in each other.

However, the magical world of A PASTORAL is also cruel and unpredictable. Dark clouds loom over the blue skies, a monstrous wolf wanders in the shadows and mocking ravens swing on a branch. And when the morning finally dawns, the ravenous death has raged amid the idyll.


Blue Phantom

The year is 1940. Detective Sergeant Mujunen, familiar to  readers of White Heat, is swept up in a new, more poignant  chain of events. Mujunen, in mourning for the death of his wife,  meets the Lithuanian dancer Ilse Anders at the cemetery, and  his heart skips a beat. But his troubles are far from over.

A Finnish commuter plane vanishes after taking off from  Tallinn, a bank is robbed in Kerava, and riots flare in Helsinki,  the protesters demanding peace and brotherhood between  Finland and the Soviet Union. Also involved is a big time  gangster, Finnish-American Bill Kovanen, arrived too late to  take part in the Winter War. Crime journalist Ossi Koho and photographer Sanna Rytkönen  suspect a conspiracy: what if everything is connected with the accident where actress Sirkka  Sari fell into the chimney of the Aulanko Hotel? The last act is played out on the windy shore  of the Ice Sea, where Mujunen’s faith in mankind is put to the test.


Yearning

A person can miss someone else so much that they stop seeing the people living right next to them

It is the 1950s, a time of movie stars, but in the muddy villages of Ostrobothnia everything is as it has always been. The Canadian Finn Marlene and her twin sister Susanne only know the plains of Ostrobothnia through what their parents have told them. Now, their family moves back to Finland, but the return to Vöyri is just as bittersweet as setting off from the other side of the Atlantic was, and life doesn’t go exactly as planned. The cows’ hooves freeze to the field, mother’s lipstick, dreams and hats have to stay in a suitcase in the attic, and the job father was offered at the bank never becomes a reality.

Marlene is not a sweet girl like her constantly smiling sister, Susanne. She is curious and wants to find out about everything, like the mysterious places of the Kirksal in the village or how people have children. She sees the bitter war between her parents, feels her own desires rushing in, hears the malicious gossip of their neighbors, and learns the ancient knowledge of her grandmother. However, nobody talks about why, one day, father’s suitcase stands packed and ready.

Yearning is the coming-of-age story of young Marlene and the parallel novel to Longing, which was from the point of view of Marlene’s mother. Bertell’s prose captures the experience of being an immigrant and the thoughts of those who stay quiet, asking how blind one can be when it comes to one’s loved ones.

Bertell’s powerful and effortless narration recounts a family’s experiences, the longing of immigrants, and the challenging relationships between mothers and daughters in a 1950s village in Ostrobothnia.


Irrational Things

Autofictive story of love, death and life between two countries. Turunen’s funny, witty and melancholic voice examines the contradiction of sense and sensibility.

What if you are in love with a good man – a man you have always wanted to fall in love with? But what if this man lives in one country and you in another? Should you be sensible and leave the man to be free and independent? Or should you follow your heart, burn the bridges behind, and go after him?

The narrator travels to Barcelona to study theatre. After a few weeks she falls in love with a local man. Thus begins an intensive relationship that tears her between two countries and two cultures. She learns that relationships are between two individuals who have their own ways of expressing love to others and to themselves.

Turunen’s novel paints a relatable picture of relationships, breakups and the constant battle between fear and love. It is a beautiful picture of a woman growing up and trying to balance between social expectations, commitment and freedom.


Bechi

A groundbreaking debut novel from one of the most interesting authors of the generation. This is the story of a simultaneously symbiotic and destructive relationship between a mother and a daughter, and of a desire to belong somewhere while also wanting to break free.

Bechi is in her thirties, and lives in Helsinki, where she is trying to finish her master’s thesis. Her mother Shoshana is a writer of Yemeni Jewish heritage. Her autobiographical novel shocked readers in Finland when it came out in the mid-90s, and she has also burned all the bridges between her family in Israel.

What’s more, the fate of Shoshana’s brother is forever burned in to the minds of the family’s three generations of women: Bechi, Shoshana, and her mother, Rivka.

When Bechi meets her mother for morning coffee at a Helsinki café and tells her about her pregnancy, many years of tension come to a head. How can two people remember everything so differently? More importantly, what are the things that they would rather forget?