30 lokakuuta, 2014

Aki Ollikainen: Nälkävuosi

Nälkävuosi, 2012
Siltala 2012
141 sivua

Finlandia-ehdokas 2012 
Man Booker International -ehdokas 2016
GR: 4/5 tähteä

"The Hunger Years", the Finnish Famine of 1866-68 was the last famine in (Western?) Europe that was caused by natural reasons. The book tells about a family that is forced to leave their home in the early winter to go begging and maybe end up in the place where there is at least some food.

There was some weird contrast because at the same time I am reading Anna Karenina and about their life in St. Petersbourg and that book came out less than 10 years after the famine, and in this one the mother dreams of getting to St. Peterbourg where the Tsar lives in fine buildings and won't let his subjects die of hunger.

It was a well written book and that made it hard to read. Interesting but not really something one would read "for pleasure", I almost had to force myself to continue. Luckily it wasn't a very long book. Some scenes were a bit of a surprise and even more distressing than one would expect, considering the subject, of course. I had been wanting to read this for a while and it was worth it, though I can't really say I "liked" it because it felt too real for that.

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