Maria Turtschaninoff: Arra. Legender från Lavora [Arra. Legends from Lavora]

12 February 2010 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Arra. Legender från Lavora
[Arra. Legends from Lavora]
Helsinki: Söderströms, 2009. 251 p.
ISBN 978-951-52-2604-4
19.90 €, hardback

Legender från Lavora by Maria Turtschaninoff (born 1977) is limpid and leisurely in tone, yet the story of Arra, a girl from a poor family, is intense, tragic and original. Because she is mute, Arra is thought to be feeble-minded, and thus of no value to her family. She becomes, in fact, an ‘invisible child’ – the author’s reference to neglected children of the present day. The girl uses a special power to compensate for the contempt of those around her: she binds herself in living connection with nature, which leads her in the end to glory and honour. Because of Arra’s long period of muteness as she enters her teens, dialogue is a very small portion of the book. The narrative may be challenging for young readers, but the vivid love story of Arra and Prince Surando has an irresistible, magical enchantment.

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