Miss Stein's Cook

Leena Parkkinen

Original title: Neiti Steinin keittäjätär

Author: Leena Parkkinen

Published: 2022

Publisher: Otava

Genre: Literary Fiction

Pages: 464

Reading material:

English sample & synopsis

The story of two sisters who become separated in a tragedy

A fabulous historical novel about a crime that separates two sisters, and about love that sets one human to serve another.

In Parainen, near the archipelago in Southern Finland, the stint two sisters have as helpers in a mansion ends in terrible bloodshed.

Twenty years later in Paris, the world-famous Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas hire a cook for their two-woman household - Margit, one of the two sisters whose lives were transformed by the tragedy in Parainen. The roles of the cook and the servant define both Margit and Alice, who is Stein’s lover, editor, muse, and typewriter.

A special trust and tension is born between the women. But Margit’s dark secret leaves none of them alone.

Miss Stein’s Cook is a thrilling and tensive, multi-sided and multi-layered, thematically rich novel with a strong sensual power. [–] The answer to the ‘What really happened there?’ mystery is skillfully avoided for so long that on one hand, the reader feels impatient, and on the other hastens their reading to find the answer. The unbearableness and loveliness of reading were real at least for me.

-Kaisa Kurikka, Turun Sanomat

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Rights sold:
FINLAND: Otava (orig.)

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.


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