Decent Ingredients

Leena Parkkinen

Original title: Säädyllinen ainesosa

Author: Leena Parkkinen

Published: 2016

Publisher: Teos

Genre: Literary Fiction

Pages: 366

Reading material:

English sample & synopsis

In 1956, Helsinki housewife Saara befriends her upstairs neighbor Elisabeth, who throws parties for artists, lives to eat and corresponds with faraway friends. As they get to know each other, Saara learns that Elisabeth is everything Saara is not: fashionable, independent, a citizen of the world. And a spy.

With echoes of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway  and Linn Ullmann’s domestic portrayals, Decent Ingredients is a story about the bourgeoisie of Helsinki during the Cold War; about forbidden love, dangerous secrets and, about food, which reflects life, love, class, sexuality and politics throughout this richly-detailed and atmospheric novel by the award-winning Parkkinen.

Download reading materials

Rights sold:
FINLAND: Teos (orig.)
ITALY: Armando Editore

About author

Leena Parkkinen

Leena Parkkinen has authored three prize-winning adults’ novels set in 20th century Europe, often about people living at the margins society. Her skillful use of detail is often imbued with an element of suspense. She has also written two children’s story books.

Parkkinen has received numerous literary awards, such as Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for the best debut (2009), Academic Bookshop’s Bestselling Debut Prize (2009), Laila Hirvisaari Award (2010) and the Kalevi Jäntti Prize (2013), in addition to being nominated for the Tulenkantaja Export Prize 2017. Her works have been translated into seven languages to date.


2022, Literary Fiction

Leena Parkkinen

Miss Stein's Cook

2017, Picture Books (0-3 Years)

Leena Parkkinen

Little Brother’s Marvellous Expedition

2016, Literary Fiction

Leena Parkkinen

Decent Ingredients