Ann-Luise Bertell

Original title: Glöm bort din saknad

Author: Ann-Luise Bertell

Published: 2022

Publisher: Förlaget

Genre: Literary Fiction

Pages: 300

Reading material:

English synopsis

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.

“YEARNING is like a return to the great stories of great storytellers, but it does not repeat them. Bertell is undeniably sincere in relation to both her predecessors and the present moment. In the midst of a time when we impatiently thirst for something new, she reveals something unique and eternal.”

– Freja Rudels, Åbo Underrättelser newspaper, Finland

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Rights sold:
FINLAND (Swedish): Förlaget (orig.)

About author

Ann-Luise Bertell

Ann-Luise Bertell is an author and a theater director, born 1971 in Oravais, Finland. She has graduated from the Finnish Theater Academy, and debuted as a writer in 1997 with the collection of poems, 'Rus av gul', and has since written poems, short stories, a children's book, plays and two novels. Longing (Vänd om min längtan, 2016), was awarded the Yle Prize and the Choreus Prize. Her second novel Homestead (Heiman) was published in 2020 and was nominated for the Finlandia Prize, and her third novel Yearning (Glöm Bort Din Saknad) was published 2022.

Ann-Luise has been Wasa Theatre's director since 2020, but is also a mother of three, dog owner, hiker, seeker, spy and bookworm.


2022, Literary Fiction

Ann-Luise Bertell


2020, Literary Fiction

Ann-Luise Bertell


2016, Literary Fiction

Ann-Luise Bertell