Where Four Roads Meet

Tommi Kinnunen

Original title: Neljäntienristeys

Author: Tommi Kinnunen

Published: 2014

Publisher: WSOY

Genre: Literary Fiction

Pages: 335

Reading material:

English sample and synopsis

Finnish edition

A delicately perceptive novel about people who build their dreams to forbidden heights

A young midwife named Maria arouses suspicion among the villagers. Diligently taking care of difficult childbirths, she finally gains the respect she craves for, but fails to notice that she has become a prisoner of her own longing.

Maria’s daughter Lahja, born out of wedlock, wants to incorporate into her own life all that her mother has rejected as ballast. A refugee returning to the north scorched by war, she yearns for contact in her marriage, while her husband, war hero Onni, wanders the cities, seeking fleeting, forbidden moments of happiness.

Decades later, Kaarina is decorating her mother-in-law Lahja’s house, now devoid of dreams, and wants to tear down what others have built to remain silent.

Where Four Roads Meet is a touching and strong story of tenacious women. The novel is both about being different and of the change of the Finnish society. The altering voices of the narrators of the story make the structure of the novel particularly successful and keep the reader captivated. The writing is beautiful, the description of the protagonists is skillful, and their individual fates are fascinating, the novel is a well-balanced and a refined whole. Where Four Roads Meet is a brilliant and timeless debut novel.

– Thank You for the Book Prize jury

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Rights sold:
AZERBAIJAN: Agac Publishing House
CHINA: China International Radio Press
DENMARK: Gyldendal/Cicero
ITALY: Edizioni ETS
NORWAY: Pax Forlag

About author

Tommi Kinnunen

Tommi Kinnunen (1973) was born in Kuusamo in northeastern Finland and currently lives in Turku, where he works as a teacher of Finnish language and literature. His works include novels, opera librettos, short stories, and a non-fiction title on the changes taking place in the Finnish school system.

Kinnunen’s novels give a voice to those whose stories have been kept untold. He made a stellar debut with Where Four Roads Meet (orig. Neljäntienristeys) which was nominated for the Finlandia Prize and won the Young Aleksis Prize in 2015. The following novels The Light Behind the Eyes (orig. Lopotti), The Glass River (orig. Pintti), and Defiance (orig. Ei kertonut katuvansa) have been both critical and commercial successes. His books have been translated into 20 languages.

During his spare time, Kinnunen likes to refurbish old buildings.


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