Where the Light Comes In

Anne-Maija Aalto

Original title: Mistä valo pääsee sisään

Author: Anne-Maija Aalto

Published: 2021

Publisher: Otava

Genre: Young Adult (13 or 14+)

Pages: 320

Reading material:

English sample and synopsis

What is a person if you take away their memory? Who determines what we believe? A captivating story of rebellion, hope, and humanity..

  • Finlandia Prize winner – The best Children’s & Young Adult title in Finland 2021!
  • Finlandia Prize audience favorite 2021!
  • Winner of the Young Aleksis Award 2022
  • Rights sold to Editions Milan in France in a two-book deal!

Aleksei is a young man whose father runs a human research institute in Tokyo, which is now partly covered by the sea. New batches of test subjects regularly arrive at the facility, including one with Satomi, a young woman whose memory is set to be erased. Satomi becomes Aleksei’s trial case, since he is meant to continue his father’s work. But something is already churning beneath the surface, and the younger generation can see the horrors of the system their parents have created.

Finlandia Award winner Anne-Maija Aalto’s Where the Light Comes In is the dystopian love story of two very different characters with different values set in a water-covered former Japan. It is a stand-alone sequel to Aalto’s acclaimed novel Dragonfly and a tremendously skillful, captivating story of rebellion, hope and humanity. It was selected as the winner of the Finlandia Prize for Children’s & Young Adult Literature by futurist and non-fiction author Perttu Pölönen.

The narration is effortless, the world distant yet timely. The great questions of humanity are present. The story elegantly invites young people to see how their relationships with their parents can change when they get to know them better

futurist and non-fiction author Perttu Pölönen, Finlandia Prize Jury

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Rights sold:
FRANCE: Éditions Milan
HUNGARY: Metropolis Media Group


About author

Anne-Maija Aalto

Anne-Maija Aalto is an award-winning Finnish author of both YA and adult fiction. Her YA novel Where the Light Comes In won the prestigious Finlandia Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature in 2021 and has received praise for its effortless narration, beautiful prose and compellingly current story.

Where the Light Comes In is a standalone sequel for Dragonfly which was nominated for the Topelius Prize in 2020. The prize is awarded yearly to an expectional novel for young people, and the jury described Dragonfly as “a deeply touching and beautifully written story of friendship, loss and social inequality.” Her other works include YA novel Into Deep Water and novel The Silence of Snow. Her books often dwelve into the darker sides of humanity, exploring the themes of loss, loneliness, identity and coming of age.

Anne-Maija holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of Turku where she also studied English and creative writing. She lives in Turku with her husband and an extensive collection of half-filled notebooks. When she isn’t writing, she can most likely be found walking in nature with her camera or lounging on the couch with a good book.


2021, Young Adult (13 or 14+)

Anne-Maija Aalto

Where the Light Comes In

2020, Young Adult (13 or 14+)

Anne-Maija Aalto