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Customer Review

on August 12, 2011
Timo Vatanen is a simple woodsman living in a small town in Finland when the Finnish Army arrive to blitz and evacuate the town ahead of the rapidly approaching Russian Army. Only Timo stays behind refusing to leave. When the Russian Army arrives Timo works for them as a logger alongside 5 other Russians who he befriends despite only one speaking Finnish. There is little plot to the narrative and the novel focuses largely on their survival in the harsh Finnish winterof 1939/40, the bonds that develop amongst the men and their strengths and weaknesses. At times it is like being trapped in a bleak war torn landscape where death can be seen as a blessed sleep from the boredom and harsh living conditions. Since the novel is mostly told in the first person of the narrator Timo, I found that the Russian characters' development was therefore underdeveloped and made for a less involved read. For readers who are looking for an action packed war story then this novel will not appeal but for readers looking for something like Andrei Makine's The Woman Who Waited then they might enjoy this novel (In my view Makine's novel is infinitely superior).
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