"Storsien - 100 år i en norrbottnisk by", by Anne-Christine Liinanki

It´s taken me a while to get to this book. The author is local, she´s a friend of a friend, and she and I were both students at a creative writing course at the university. She has been clever and ambitious enough to get her first book published and it´s been available for two years now.

It´s a pretty short read, it only took me a couple of hours, and I like that because there is no interruption. It´s like a long short story, the format is comfortable. It´s about a family in four generations, from the late 19th Century to present day, about a village in the north of Sweden (in the middle of nowhere, some might say), it´s about a World War II labour camp for "traitors", i e people of dissentient views (marxist, mostly). It´s also about love for the forrest lands, about the conflict between the colonizing swedes and the indigenous people, the Sami, and the plight of women in the socially unequal society that pre-industrial Sweden was.

The author uses a language rich in imagery, which is usually not to my taste, but in a shorter novel like this, I have to say I didn´t really grow tired of it until perhaps the very last pages. The metaphores used are usually refering to the forrest, farming, animals and it really enhances the world view of these people. A girl tries to imagine a city, for example, and she sees a meadow. Or she gets the same feeling as a meadow. This is all really clever and very effective.

The psychology is also very convincing, until the last character enters the story. I can´t feel that this woman is real, even though I really, really like her. It´s like all the lack of power in the generations before her is realized in her. She is a piece of wishful thinking, perhaps. And that´s ok, this is fiction after all and an author should push the boundaries for her characters, I think. Set new examples for women to be inspired by.

I can really recommend this book, if you read swedish. It won´t take to much of your time, and you won´t forget it anytime soon.

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