Paths that cross by Tommi Kinnunen Review

Topics: Mother

Somehow it is especially the Scandinavian literature. Global interest triggered the mysteries of Adler-Olsen, Mankell, Nesbø, Nesser, which often celebrated unprecedented human abysses in scenic barrenness and loneliness. Less a resounding success, but are literarily no less compelling stories of remarkable people who have proven themselves in the dark, inhospitable regions of the north (or not) where tragedies of ancient force their inexorable passage take (Read my Reviews for Katja Kettu: “Wild eye” on books reviews “

Now, in 2014, a new star on the northern writers firmament appeared Tommi Kinnunen (born in 1973 in Finland and the main vocational teacher) has the same with his debut.

” Neljäntienristeys “reader and critics impressed. the novel was nominated among others for the prestigious Finlandia prize and the European literature prize, led for weeks the bestseller lists and was translated into many languages.

Kinnunen comes from a family of photographers. images from whose past inspired him to harrowing, compelling Fam iliensaga that spans a century and three generations.

At the center of three powerful, different women are. All “paths that cross” come together at a point in space, in a village that is modeled after the hometown of the author and where a house symbolizes the changes over the decades. Maria Tuomela, the first and most powerful of the three protagonists, let the little Kate in 1925 built on the northern edge of the village, as a kind of symbol of their hard-won new status. After that, they extended the house regularly for new chambers and rooms.

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Forty years after her death, it is the largest and handsomest of the village.

But in 1996, at the end of the novel, and most are no longer needed. For a few years, only three people live in the house: Mary daughter Lahja whose son John and his wife, Kaarina. There used Lahjas husband Onni, both blind daughter Helena and Lahjas illegitimate daughter Anna. As Lahja dies now, it means an exemption for Kaarina. She cleans up in the attic on – and discovers a decades-old letter of the law, revealing a terrible tragedy in the past and it concerns itself. Thus the action of the novel takes its course, and at this point it ends well after an omniscient narrator’s experiences of the four protagonists – Maria, Lahja, Kaarina, Onni – has each told from their perspective. But that family history is not chronologically served yet recorded without exception – there remain white spots

Mary had just passed the test of midwifery school in Helsinki when she came in 1895 in the village of their determination to accomplish the tasks of the community midwife. to take over. Its predecessor, old and alcohol addicted, neglected their duties. In any case, we let his fetus rather of familiar “midwives” to light the world draw, as long as everything reasonably went well. Only as a last resort they called the midwife. The young, inexperienced new but did not trust the common people have the same, especially since, but was advancing with a child without a man.

Maria accepts the challenge. Selfless she is committed, will travel with reindeer team or skis on for many kilometers, can the mortality of puerperal women and children reduce, thus gaining the confidence of the women. She uses it to the location of the annual re-laden, anemic mothers to comment dramatically. Too many new mothers she has seen die in atrocious conditions. While mourning women wash the leached deceased, they nod to the “in boots ends hosts’ to confidence that so soon had a new wife there for him, that’ll take care of him, the household and the children. Maria disapproved the “doings of men,” which the Church granted its blessing by “heavenly bliss” is humble on earth women in the afterlife promised, and she approves every woman to refuse her husband. That the priest they repeatedly summoned in order to blame “because of her indecent behavior”, it can not be intimidated.

Within a decade has strengthened Marias respectable reputation. The feisty woman excited astonishment and admiration when she buys a bicycle himself learned to drive it, and is quickly on site, whenever it is called. She is proud and happy to have never tied to a man. No one ordered around, and the idea that “any fat man would climb them whenever he pleased” lets her shudder.

Quite different thinks about her daughter Lahja, now a mother of an illegitimate daughter Anna , Lahja yearns for connection with a caring, passionate partners and married Onni Löytövaara. He is hard-working, taking care of his wife to Anna and his two biological children, but then discovered with horror his otherness – a kind of “disease”, “challenge”, something forbidden. As much as it stirs this, he can not even speak about it openly with his wife. The consequences are dire.

During the war, Maria is always destroyed by its trips and contacts up to date on the course, but their house is, and peaceful change Onni six years at the front. As a hero, he returned to help as a carpenter in the reconstruction of the village. But by itself it does not come to terms. He has invited major blame, he soon can not stand.

While elsewhere the upheavals of the sixties of freedom pave the way restrictive, biased criticism of the orthodox village community of Mary meets confident daughter Lahja that with difficulty their own way must be found. As a photographer, she wins a piece of self-employment as her mother, but finds neither a woman at Onni still with her children as a mother fulfillment. You embittered more and more, is unattainable for their caring daughter Kaarina and petrified formally, within and without.

Later, there will be a detailed scene of reconciliation, make Kinnunens writing talent and Angela Plöger translation convincing, without fail on the cliffs of kitsch and sentimentality. Never found Kaarina as a daughter-in quality to wash the crouching in front of her mother in law with a washcloth. Lahja, once a dominant figure that the younger one has harassed for four decades, is only a sexless, dried-up “bone pile”. As she bent to her “stool squatting like a wet squirrel” and crying asks for forgiveness, while Kaarina calms her with affectionate gestures and gives her all her attention, is a deeply touching about image.

“paths cross “in spite of the wonderfully clear narrative style not very smooth reading. Each individual perspective, detailed the daily life of another phase of the century and may be read quickly and extent interested. On the other hand, any games takes the previously happened again. And yet, there is the feeling one, it lacked something in the sequence of actions you’ve missed something. Who does not want to give in terms of Unspoken with own speculation satisfied, you should make the effort worthwhile and occasionally previous or reread the five initial pages at the end. The effect can be massive. The gaps, however, have something to do with the fact that both Maria and their descendants keep silence for the best strategy when they got into trouble. Perhaps silence and discretion as appropriate, resources have proven saving properties under the harsh conditions of solitary far north.

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Paths that cross by Tommi Kinnunen Review. (2019, Nov 18). Retrieved from

Paths that cross by Tommi Kinnunen Review
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