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Ice Paperback – February 4, 2016
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About the Author
Ulla-Lena Lundberg (b 1947) is an acclaimed and prizewinning Finland-Swedish poet, ethnologist and author. She has published more than twenty works of fiction and essays. Born in Kokar in the Aland islands, she has lived in Japan, Africa and Siberia, and now lives in Porvoo, Finland. Ulla-Lena was featured on a recent Aland Islands stamp.
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A frustration is that the author is so clever at drawing us into her saga of hardships and triumphs set within a group of unusually resilient people that you want to Google Map the place-names - but when you do you find they don't seem to exist.
Which sets you wondering: how real are these people and how much are they a construction of the writer's imagination.
A combination of both, presumably, and once you get used to the fact that the places are mere representations it doesn't seem to matter, anyway.
There is a lot of religion in this book, but somehow it doesn't overwhelm the other important elements - the observant descriptions of family life, the vivid depictions of existence in a climate of extremes, the political intrigues that are woven into every local neighbourhood, everywhere.
A compelling read, and highly recommended.